BANGKOK: Southeast Asian nations hope spreading the financial burden across the region will give them the advantage in their bid to host the football World Cup in 2030.
World football's governing body FIFA may take another decade to decide on the host for the 2030 finals, but the region's footballing federation (AFF) are the second party to express an interest in hosting the soccer showpiece event after Argentina and Uruguay said they were interested in lodging a joint bid.
AFF nations will form a committee aimed at promoting their bid, the details of which will include special lanes at regional airports to facilitate transport to games, Malaysian foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman told Bernama news agency.
“It will be a unifying factor for the ASEAN community if we could host the World Cup,” he said after a foreign ministers' meeting on Monday.
The proposal is likely to involve all 11 of the AFF's member nations, which will raise logistical and financial questions.
“We thought if we made a joint bid, if we share facilities, then it's a bearable cost,” Singapore foreign minister George Yeo told Today newspaper.
“ASEAN, as a whole, will be a big country like Brazil or the United States and if they can host it so can we.”
The 2014 finals are set to be staged in Brazil, followed by Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.