Australia is set to re-enter the race to host a FIFA World Cup with confirmation Football Federation Australia is looking at joining forces with Indonesia to bid for the 2034 event.
The move comes nine years after our last bid to host the 2022 World Cup ended in embarrassment and recriminations when Australia got just one vote after spending $45 million of taxpayers cash on the bid, with questions asked about how and where the money was spent.
Now though the FFA have confirmed overseas reports that they are in talks with Indonesia football about a surprise joint bid.
It comes as professional football is facing tough times in Australia with crowds and TV ratings down for the A-League, and the Matildas and Socceroos under-performing on the international stage.
FFA executives admitted they were distracted from domestic issues while the 2010 World Cup bid was underway, and faced similar issues when the long-running governance issues were ongoing over the past two years.
The FFA has already launched a bid for the 2023 Women's World Cup and faces more turmoil ahead locally with the breakaway independent A-League set to be created imminently alongside a new national second division.
They also anticipate a tough battle for an improved TV rights deal in the coming few years with Fox Sports making it clear football is no longer a priority for them any more.
But the FFA appear to think the time is right to now launch another bid for the prestigious hosting rights in 2034 in collaboration with Indonesia rather than the more obvious choice of New Zealand.
“Football Federation Australia confirms it has held discussions with the Indonesia Football Association about the possibility to jointly bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup," an FFA spokesperson told FTBL this afternoon.
"An Indonesia-Australia joint bid was also discussed at last week’s ASEAN Football Federation Council Meeting in Laos."
The joint Australian-Indonesian bid could face local opposition from a 10-nation bid from south-east Asian countries.
The FFA statement added: “FFA notes that a joint South East Asian bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup was endorsed at the recently held 34th ASEAN Summit in Thailand.
"FFA welcomes the opportunity to further discuss a ASEAN bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup with fellow Member Associations in the region.”