Indonesia’s football federation (PSSI) will back Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the 2034 World Cup, in a blow to a possible joint bid with Australia.
Just a week ago, PSSI president Erick Thohir said they were in talks with Australian officials over a proposal that could also include Malaysia and Singapore as co-hosts.
Wednesday’s change of heart came before the FIFA imposed deadline of October 31.
“Indonesia supports Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034,” Thohir said in a statement.
“Indonesia continues to prepare for its bid to host the FIFA World Cup after 2034, as well as other FIFA competitions.”
Football Australia has previously said they were exploring the possibility of bidding for the tournament.
But Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is the favourite with 2034 set aside for Asian and Oceania confederations.
World governing body FIFA fast-tracked the contest last week by confirming the 2030 World Cup will be an unprecedented six-nation, three-continent tournament.
Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay will all host matches in 2030.
That removed the continents of Europe, Africa and South America from bidding for 2034.
Saudi Arabia made its bid official last week and so far no other country has officially entered the race.
Thohir – a former owner and chairman of Inter Milan in Italy – said he had spoken to Football Australia officials at the FIFA Congress in Rwanda in March about joining forces.
“They said they wanted it. We were waiting for the Australian government for their seriousness in working together with Indonesia,” said Thohir, who is also a senior government minister.