Jakarta, 9 May 2011

N110509

ASEAN Leaders yesterday welcomed its bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2030. They discussed the initiative at the 18th ASEAN Summit, which concluded here yesterday.

“We welcomed the initiative of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers, working together with the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF), on ASEAN’s bid to host FIFA World Cup in 2030, including undertaking a comprehensive study as suggested by the AFF,” they said.

“We would systematically and procedurally explore possibilities in this major initiative,” the Chair’s Statement of the Summit stated.

The ASEAN Foreign Ministers, at their Retreat in January this year in Lombok, Indonesia, mandated Malaysia and the ASEAN Secretariat to study and explore the proposal to bid for the FIFA World Cup 2030 with the AFF.

The proposal was presented to the AFF’s Council Meeting on 10 April this year in Bangkok by officials from the Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry, the National Sports Council of Malaysia and the ASEAN Secretariat. The AFF gave a positive and supportive response to the proposal, and advised ASEAN to keep an open mind on the exact year to host the FIFA World Cup. The AFF also suggested that a committee comprising ASEAN Member States and AFF Member Associations be formed to discuss this initiative thoroughly.

“This initiative has ignited the imagination of the people of ASEAN and has led to an unprecedented level of enthusiasm across the ASEAN region,” said Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

He added that the next step is to undertake a comprehensive study as suggested by the AFF, including studying the strategic implications and a thorough procedural exploration of the initiative.