Countries under Monarchy with the Highest Qualification Chances for the FIFA World Cup


“Indonesia supports Saudi Arabia as host of the 2034 World Cup. On the other hand, Indonesia continues to prepare for the 2034 World Cup bidding “The next World Cup will be for the Asian zone after 2034 and other FIFA competitions,” said Erick, Wednesday (18/10/2023).

Before Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam was the first member country of the Southeast Asian Football Association (AFF) to officially express support for Saudi Arabia. Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (FABD) President Pengeran Haji Matusin issued a statement on October 6.

Brunei Darussalam’s statement came just two days after the Saudi Football Federation (SAFF) responded to FIFA’s invitation for AFC and OFC members to host the 2034 World Cup.

Tourists from Colombia asked for help to be photographed outside the Lusail Stadium, Qatar, before watching the 2022 World Cup match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, Tuesday (22/11/2022).
KOMPAS/YUNIADHI AGUNG

Tourists from Colombia asked for help to be photographed outside the Lusail Stadium, Qatar, before watching the 2022 World Cup match between Argentina and Saudi Arabia, Tuesday (22/11/2022).

“FABD believes that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has everything to host the biggest football agenda and hold it successfully, God willing,” said Matusin as quoted by the FABD website.

Erick’s decision was for Indonesia not to insistpursuing host status for the 2034 World Cup is a logical and sensible decision. FIFA plans to decide on the host of the 2034 World Cup at the end of this year, so the preparation period will last 11 years. This amount of time is equivalent to what Qatar has to prepare for the 2022 World Cup.

Referring to that time period, Indonesia would be very risky if it continued to pursue the status of hosting the 2034 World Cup. Even though Indonesia proposed to be a joint host, for example with Australia or other ASEAN countries, this decision also has the potential to present blunders in the future.

Because holding a World Cup is not just about thinking about the sports aspect or just carrying out a massive football infrastructure project. More than that, the World Cup can be held if the country has a government that is committed to providing political will to meet the high standards set by FIFA.

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Indonesia continues to prepare for bidding The next World Cup for the Asian zone after 2034 and other FIFA competitions.

Fireworks were set off before the start of the Qatar World Cup Group C preliminary match between Poland and Saudi Arabia at the Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Saturday (26/11/2022).
AP PHOTO/AIJAZ RAHI

Fireworks were set off before the start of the Qatar World Cup Group C preliminary match between Poland and Saudi Arabia at the Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Saturday (26/11/2022).

Political will in the world of sports is not an easy matter in Indonesia. We can reflect on the cancellation of the U-20 World Cup last May, due to differences in views of the two regional heads of the host city regarding Israel’s participation. Even though they have secured a place in Europe since mid-2022, the Israeli polemic only started two months before the tournament took place.

Moreover, from today to the 2034 World Cup, Indonesia will go through three general elections (elections). President Jokowi’s government will end next year, then Indonesia will have the opportunity to be led by two different presidents in the next decade.

Different heads, of course different ways of looking at football. Not only the central government, FIFA also asked for guarantees of commitment from the regional governments of the cities proposed as organizers. No doubt, changing regional heads can also have an impact political will to organize FIFA’s biggest tournament.

It is not impossible that the next head of government will consider the World Cup a burden. Ultimately, the commitments given to FIFA in the re-application process could not be fulfilled.

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Residents cross the countdown to the U-20 World Cup which is not on again in the PSSI office yard at GBK Arena, Jakarta, Thursday (30/3/2023).  FIFA canceled Indonesia's status as host of the 2023 U-20 World Cup.
KOMPAS/AGUS SUSANTO

Residents cross the countdown to the U-20 World Cup which is not on again in the PSSI office yard at GBK Arena, Jakarta, Thursday (30/3/2023). FIFA canceled Indonesia’s status as host of the 2023 U-20 World Cup.

Don’t forget, the Indonesian government also has a lighthouse project to build the capital city of the archipelago. So, you can imagine how much money the state will need if it persists in following suit bidding 2034 World Cup.

Big funds

Preparing football infrastructure and supporting the World Cup is not easy and cheap. Qatar, in order to organize the World Cup, which FIFA President Gianni Infantino claims is the best tournament, is willing to spend huge amounts of money, namely around 220 billion US dollars or around Rp. 3,486.1 trillion.

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It was a record for the largest expenditure for a host nation in 22 editions of the World Cup. This figure also exceeds the 2023 Indonesian State Revenue and Expenditure Budget of around IDR 2,463 trillion.

FIFA clearly needs to think realistically about having a senior World Cup host. The turnover in the World Cup is the largest in a world sports tournament. For example, at the Qatar World Cup, FIFA achieved revenues of 7.5 billion US dollars or around Rp. 118.6 trillion.

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Supporters in front of the ball walk against the backdrop of Lusail Stadium ahead of the World Cup final, Sunday (18/12/2022).  Lusail Stadium is the largest stadium in Qatar.
COMPASS/MUHAMMAD IKSHAN MAHAR

Supporters in front of the ball walk against the backdrop of Lusail Stadium ahead of the World Cup final, Sunday (18/12/2022). Lusail Stadium is the largest stadium in Qatar.

Politics stable

Furthermore, Qatar has also provided the foundational criteria for the ideal host of the World Cup. Ten years of preparation will not take place without political stability in the country. Despite experiencing an economic embargo from Saudi Arabia since 2017, Qatar can be independent to meet their needs in preparing for the 2022 World Cup.

After the 2022 World Cup, Qatar will also continue to use their first-class facilities to hold the 2023 Asian Cup tournament, then is targeting holding other tournaments belonging to FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

However, what Qatar is doing is impossible to do in a country with dynamic political conditions, if you don’t want to call it a democratic country. Freedom of opinion which is protected by the constitution certainly presents the potential for differences of opinion in viewing the World Cup project, giving rise to commotion in the public sphere. Ultimately, it could result in the cancellation of the tournament as happened at the last U-20 World Cup.

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Argentina, Uruguay and Chile failed to officially register for the 2030 World Cup because they did not receive approval from the government. Peru, another South American country, was also stripped of its hosting status for the 2023 U-17 World Cup by FIFA because it did not show political will to meet infrastructure standards.

Qatar's 2022 World Cup logo is displayed at the opening ceremony at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Sunday (20/11/2022).  The 2022 World Cup logo is a curve that forms the number eight, which refers to the number of stadiums that will be used as match venues.
AP/ HASSAN AMMAR

Qatar’s 2022 World Cup logo is displayed at the opening ceremony at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Sunday (20/11/2022). The 2022 World Cup logo is a curve that forms the number eight, which refers to the number of stadiums that will be used as match venues.

For the 2030 World Cup, FIFA chose Spain, Portugal and Morocco as the main hosts. These three countries have been equipped with capable football infrastructure and proof of their government’s commitment to supporting football development so far.

Learn from the experiences of South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014 which successfully prepared and hosted the World Cup but they failed to maintain the infrastructure that had been built. Infantino, on several occasions, reminded that the FIFA tournament must have an influence on the development of the country’s football.

If you look at conditions in the ASEAN region, only Brunei Darussalam and Singapore have the opportunity to host the World Cup based on a more stable political situation. However, these two countries do not meet the geographical area requirements to hold 80 matches in the biggest football tournament.

As a result, supporting Saudi Arabia is a wise choice for Asian countries. Similar to Qatar, Saudi Arabia is a monarchy that has a stable political condition. The various issues raised by Western countries will not diminish the support of the Saudi Arabian population for their country’s big project. Similar to Qatar.

Several female supporters of the Saudi Arabian national team take photos ahead of the team's match with Argentina at Lusail Stadium, Qatar, 22 November 2022. The 2022 World Cup provides an opportunity for Arab women to be more involved in supporting their favorite team.
AP PHOTO/LUCA BRUNO

Several female supporters of the Saudi Arabian national team take photos ahead of the team’s match with Argentina at Lusail Stadium, Qatar, 22 November 2022. The 2022 World Cup provides an opportunity for Arab women to be more involved in supporting their favorite team.

”The 2024 FIFA World Cup is our invitation to the world to witness the development, experience the culture and history of Saudi Arabia. “We are very committed to providing the most competitive offer to unite the world through football,” said SAFF President Yasser al-Misehal, who claimed to have received support from 70 FIFA members, as reported by the SAFF website.

The World Cup has a big chance of returning to the Arabian Peninsula in 2034. If that happens, FIFA has confirmed their standards for hosting the World Cup for countries outside Europe and the United States. In this way, it is impossible for Indonesia to apply to host the World Cup before celebrating its centenary year.