The Indonesian football federation officially expressed interest
in staging one of the tournaments to FIFA late Tuesday, becoming the
sixth potential host to show interest ahead of Monday's deadline.
England, Japan, Qatar, Russia and a joint Spain-Portugal
candidacy have already declared intentions to bid.
Other contenders including Australia, a combined
Belgium-Netherlands-Luxembourg proposal, Canada, China, Mexico and
the United States are expected to enter the first stage of a
two-year selection process before the cutoff.
Though its team is currently No. 14 in the FIFA world rankings,
Indonesia fulfills one major requirement of hosting the world's
most-watched sports event - it has a stadium capable of holding at
least 80,000 spectators for th opening match and final.
The government-owned Bung Karno Stadium in the capital Jakarta
has a capacity of 88,000 and staged the 2007 Asian Cup final, when
Iraq beat Saudi Arabia 1-0.
Indonesia has previously made World Cup history.
It became the first Asian nation to play at a World Cup, at the
138 tournament in France under its colonial name of the Dutch East Indies. The team lost 6-0 to eventual runner-up Hungary in a
first-round match at Reims.
Indonesia was quickly knocked out of qualifying for the 2010
World Cup being played in South Africa. It advanced through the
Asian first round when oppoent Guam withdrew, then lost 11-1 to
Syria in a two-legged series in November 2007.
FIFA began the process of choosing the 2018 and 2022 World Cup
hosts two weeks ago. It will issue official bid forms next month,
which must be returned by March 16.
Candidates capable of providing around 12 stadiums eac holding
at least 40,000 fans can apply for either the 2018 or the 2022
tournament, or for both.
FIFA said no South American country can apply for either
tournament because Brazil is hosting the 2014 edition. African
countries can bid only for the 2022 event because South Africa is
hosting next year.
The hosts will be chosen by FIFA's 24-man executive committee in
If successful, Indonesia would be the second World Cup host from
Asia. The 2002 tournament was played in Japan and South Korea.