The FIFA World Cup, commonly referred to as the World Cup, is an international association football tournament featuring the senior men’s national teams representing the member countries of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the global governing body of the sport. This tournament has been organized every four years since its inaugural edition in 1930, except for the years 1942 and 1946 when it was canceled due to the Second World War. The current titleholders are Argentina, who clinched their third championship at the 2022 event.
The competition kicks off with the qualification stage, which spans the preceding three years and serves to determine the teams that will earn a place in the tournament phase. In the tournament phase, a total of 32 teams contend for the championship title, with matches taking place at various venues situated within the host nation(s) over the course of roughly a month. It’s important to note that the host nation(s) receive an automatic berth in the tournament’s group stage. Notably, the upcoming FIFA World Cup, scheduled for 2026, is set to expand to include 48 teams.
Saudi Arabia has emerged as the sole bidder to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, as the deadline for bid submissions closed, according to FIFA, the global governing body for soccer. FIFA had invited bids for the tournament from Asia and Oceania by the October 31 deadline. Notably, Saudi Arabia announced its bid shortly after the official announcement on October 4. In contrast, Australia has decided not to submit a bid, leaving Saudi Arabia as the only candidate. FIFA stated, “As outlined in the Bidding Regulations approved by the FIFA Council, the FIFA administration will undertake a comprehensive process for evaluating bids for the 2030 and 2034 FIFA World Cups, with the hosts expected to be determined by FIFA Congresses, slated to take place by the fourth quarter of 2024.”
Yasser Al Misehal, the President of the Saudi Arabian Football Association (Saudi FA), affirmed the federation’s full commitment to meeting all of FIFA’s requirements to host the World Cup. He added, “Every member of the Saudi football community is dedicated to realizing the dream of Saudi men and women to witness the World Cup in our nation for the first time.” He highlighted the potential of football to inspire future generations and contribute to the global development of the sport. Furthermore, FIFA also confirmed that Morocco, Portugal, and Spain have expressed their interest in hosting the 2030 World Cup. Additionally, Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay have indicated their intention to host celebratory matches. On October 4, FIFA revealed that the joint bid from Morocco, Spain, and Portugal had been selected to host the 2030 World Cup, pending the successful completion of the bidding process.