Hua Hin (Thailand): Southeast Asian nations
could jointly bid to host the FIFA World Cup, the Thai finance
minister proposed today at a summit of the region`s leaders.
Korn Chatikavanij said he had discussed the idea of
hosting the football tournament with business forums as a
means of boosting the economies of the 10-member Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
While the proposal is not on the official agenda at the
summit, Korn told reporters it could still be discussed by
leaders here in the Thai resort of Hua Hin.
"It must be an informal discussion but I think ASEAN has
the potential to host the World Cup," he said.
ASEAN groups Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam,
the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore,
which together have a population of nearly 600 million people.
Korn pointed to the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which was held
by South Korea and Japan -- the first edition in the
tournament`s history to be hosted by two countries.
The next tournament is set to be held in South Africa in
2010, followed by Brazil in 2014.
ASEAN leaders at the Hua Hin summit will hold talks
focusing on the economy before meeting their counterparts from
China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand at
They are expected to focus on growing regional economic
integration, especially with China, and on plans to establish
an EU-style economic community by the year 2015.