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SYDNEY: Australia on Tuesday decided against bidding for the 2034 football World Cup, strengthening Saudi Arabia’s position as favourite to host the event.

Football Australia pulled its bid on the October 31 deadline after the Asian Football Confederation threw its weight behind Saudi Arabia.

“We have explored the opportunity to bid to host the FIFA World Cup and – having taken all factors into consideration – we reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition,” Football Australia said in a statement.

Saudi Arabia submits letter of intent to host 2034 World Cup

Global football body FIFA has invited bids from the Asia and Oceania regions for the rotating World Cup hosting rights after naming Morocco, Spain and Portugal as joint hosts for 2030.

Australia and New Zealand jointly hosted the Women’s World Cup this year and it was generally regarded as a success.

Saudi Arabia’s ambition to host the 2034 men’s World Cup is the latest step in a campaign to turn the kingdom into a global sports powerhouse.

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