Singapore Plans ASEAN Bid for 2030 World Cup
Image Credit: Wikicommons

Singapore Plans ASEAN Bid for 2030 World Cup

0 Likes
3 comments

Singapore is planning to lead an ASEAN bid and host the 2030 World Cup. Given the extraordinary support soccer enjoys among 600 million people in Southeast Asia and the advanced plans to forge a single economic and cultural bloc in the region, such a plan should enjoy widespread support.

Zainudin Nordin, President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), said Singapore has set the target for hosting the World Cup as part of a combined bid for the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Given the unexpected success enjoyed by Qatar and its winning bid for the 2022 tournament – where a money-first attitude prevailed – an ASEAN attempt would not be entirely out of place.

With Singapore at the helm, ASEAN would be in a financial position to host the tournament. ASEAN certainly boasts a large and strong following of the football code and many of the facilities and logistics required to stage such a complex event already exist or could easily be built with 10 countries behind the bid.

Qatar also broke the unwritten rule that only traditionally strong soccer nations should hold the World Cup. According to Goal.com, Zainudin said he was happy with 2030 as the target for a regional bid and a solid proposal would be forthcoming.

This type of bid would also allow world minnows like Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar to play hosts at a tournament – for perhaps just one game each. That’s something they normally could only dream of doing.

Ahead of Qatar’s 2022 cup, Brazil will hold the 2014 World Cup and Russia will take its turn four years later. An ASEAN bid would provide FIFA with an opportunity to hold the World Cup for the first time in Southeast Asia and only the second time in Asia. Japan and South Korea held a joint World Cup in 2002.

The 2026 World Cup is not slated to be held in Asia.

Qatar’s bid has been shrouded in controversy with FIFA delaying a bid to shift the World Cup to winter after admitting that it had not taken into proper consideration the desert heat and the impact this could have on the players, officials and fans.

The ASEAN bid would also provide a focal point for the upcoming ASEAN Summit to be held this week in Brunei where trade agreements and more weighty issues of state and foreign policy issues – like territorial disputes in the South China Sea – are standard fare.

This year, major issues include the formation of a common market by the end of 2015 – a formidable task given the great religious, political and cultural differences among the 10 countries.

Luke Hunt can be followed on Twitter at @lukeanthonyhunt.

Comments
3
Silaokoi
October 13, 2013 at 08:24

I want to see a single ASEAN team. The best that our people have to offer. After all, all the ASEAN countries were at some point part of and allied with each other via Madjapahit. Until external powers shredded the region via divide and conquer. A united football team would be awesome for bringing back unity in a divided land. :)

Bankotsu
October 9, 2013 at 23:58

"This type of bid would also allow world minnows like Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar to play hosts at a tournament – for perhaps just one game each."

What about Thailand? They are the strongest south east asia football nation.

TV Monitor
October 9, 2013 at 10:49

This bid is not possible, because FIFA was left with a bad taste during the 2002 World Cup due to the logistics difficulties of having the move between two countries and vowed to never again approve a multi-nation bid.

Furthermore, the host nation is entitled to an automatic qualification; does a joint ASEAN bid mean 11 countries would qualify for the event, or there will be a single ASEAN team representing all 11 countries? 

Share your thoughts

Your Name
required
Your Email
required, but not published
Your Comment
required

Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Diplomat Brief