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Saudi Arabia Set to Host World Cup 2034 as Amnesty International Kicks

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Saudi Arabia is set to host World Cup 2034 after Australia chose not to bid, with Amnesty International demanding human rights commitments if they are confirmed.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia submitted to FIFA its official intention to host the men’s event after football’s governing body restricted the process to countries from Oceania and Asia.

An Australian bid was seen as the only serious potential challenger to Saudi Arabia but in a statement – hours before FIFA’s deadline for declarations of interest on Tuesday – Football Australia said it had “explored the opportunity” of a bid but had decided against it.

FIFA announced later on Tuesday it had received a single bid – from the Saudi Football Federation – to host the tournament.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino wrote on Instagram: “The bidding processes were approved by consensus via the FIFA Council – where all six confederations are represented – after constructive dialogue and extensive consultation.”

Also on Tuesday, Amnesty International called for “human rights commitments” to be agreed with potential hosts before any final decision was made.

Steve Cockburn, the charity’s head of economic and social justice, said: “FIFA must now make clear how it expects hosts to comply with its human rights policies. It must also be prepared to halt the bidding process if serious human rights risks are not credibly addressed.

“The best chance for FIFA to obtain binding guarantees to protect workers’ rights, ensure freedom of expression and prevent discrimination linked to the World Cup is during the host selection process – not after the hosts have been confirmed and tournament preparation has begun.”

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