— Published 7 August 2023

Australia wants much more

A paradox. Just a few weeks after withdrawing from the 2026 Commonwealth Games, initially awarded to the State of Victoria, Australia has its sights set on a major event on the international sporting calendar. Not the least of which is the Men’s World Cup. At the end of last week, the Australian Football Federation (Football Australia) announced, through its CEO, that it was currently “looking at” making bids for the expanded Club World Cup and the Men’s World Cup. “Our vision is to be local and global,” explained James Johnson. “And the way that we can be at our best in Australia is when we’re bringing big, global football content, the biggest events in the world, back to our local communities. So we see the success of the Women’s World Cup as being a stepping stone towards bidding for other competitions.” The Australians are not content to simply state their ambitions, they have already given them a date. According to James Johnson, they are targeting two events: the Club World Cup in 2029 and the Men’s World Cup in 2034. The Australians admit to being very inspired by Canada, which hosted the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and then co-hosted the Men’s World Cup with the United States and Mexico in 2026. “That’s a very good blueprint,” suggests James Johnson. “What we can learn from the Canadians is that if you host big, major tournaments, organisations like FIFA get comfortable to give you more.