BANGKOK: Malaysia welcomes Asean’s move to launch a joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034, a first for this region.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said five Asean countries had mooted the idea during the 34th Asean Summit here.
“We felt that alone (single nation bids), we will never have the chance in hosting the World Cup. But maybe as Asean, we will be able to hold the World Cup.
“Of course, games can be played in all Asean countries, like when Japan and South Korea played host in 2002,” he told the Malaysian media after concluding his four-day visit to the kingdom.
Earlier, Asean chairman Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha said all 10 Asean member countries have agreed to launch a joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034.
“I wish to inform our Asean people that today, the leaders supported the shared wish of Asean to develop a joint bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034.
“In this regard, I wish to invite all Asean people to collectively support the national football associations of Asean member states with a view of realising this dream together,” said Prayuth, who is Thailand Prime minister, at a press conference.
Last year, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah, who was a former FIFA executive committee member, said Malaysia could be part of a joint bid from four Asean countries to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.
The media reported the King as saying that the football governing bodies from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam had expressed their interest in a joint bid for the global sporting event.
Although he was unsure then about Malaysia’s stand on the matter, he felt that Malaysia should face no problems co-hosting the event.