FIFA president Gianni Infantino, who is on a visit to Thailand, has welcomed a joint effort from the Southeast Asian nations to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034.
Five Southeast Asian nations — Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam — are spearheading the preparations for a proposed joint bid from ASEAN to host the prestigious world championship in 2034.
— People’s Television (@PTVph) November 2, 2019
“This is something that is worth pursuing for such a big part of the world. We have to work to invest in football, in club competitions, in a true ASEAN champions league,” said Infantino who said he was pleased about ASEAN’s plans to host the World Cup.
Infantino witnessed Port FC defeating Ratchaburi Mitr Phol FC 1-0 in the final of the Thai FA Cup 2019 at the Leo Stadium in Pathum Thani on Saturday and also signed a memorandum of understanding with ASEAN nations during the 35th ASEAN Summit.
“After some decades of discussion among all the ASEAN countries, finally we found the one topic that unites everyone. It’s this — it’s football. People in your countries, businesses in your countries invest 10 times more in European football than in football in ASEAN. We need to invest in ASEAN,” Infantino was quoted as saying by Bangkok Post.
What an honour for me yesterday to be part of the MOU signing ceremony between the FIFA president Gianni Infantino and the ASEAN nations…a big thank you to the Thai FA and especially president of FA Thailand Somyod Phumwanmuang for having us 😊🙏🏻 #35thaseansummit pic.twitter.com/IktjMmUsbZ
— Mika chunuonsee (@Chunuonsee16) November 3, 2019
The MoU was signed by the FIFA president and ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi at Bangkok in the presence of leaders from all ASEAN countries.
The MoU will have a “strong focus on education, in particular through the implementation of FIFA’s Football for Schools Programme to foster life skills and physical education through football for boys and girls in schools across the Southeast Asian region,” FIFA said.
“The alliance will also see FIFA and ASEAN collaborate in the implementation of common strategies to promote healthy lifestyles and inclusive participation in football, particularly for women and marginalised communities,” it added.
(Photo credit: FIFA)