Sunday, June 23, 2024

Saudi Arabia is planning to host the 2034 World Cup

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Saudi Arabia on Wednesday expressed its desire to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, which comes as part of Riyadh’s campaign to become a global sporting power. The Gulf kingdom previously discussed the possibility of submitting a three-continent bid to host the World Cup with Egypt and Greece, but the plan fell through.

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Saudi Arabia on Wednesday confirmed its intention to recommend the arrangement World Cup For Football 2034, shortly after FIFA invited member associations of Asian and Oceanian confederations to submit their files to host this edition.

Saudi Football Federation President Yasser Al-Meshal said in a statement that the appointment “is an important moment that keeps pace with the growth we are experiencing in our great nation, and embodies the passion of the Saudi people for football and the Kingdom. Try to further the progress and development of this sport by organizing this exceptional event.”

Bahrain’s president of the Asian Football Confederation, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, was quick to welcome the invitation and expressed his full support for Saudi Arabia’s bid to bid to host the 2034 World Cup.

In a statement, Al Khalifa said, “The Asian Football Confederation supports the decisions of the International Football Association Council regarding hosting and we strongly believe that these decisions will pave the way for better opportunities for all continental confederations. Organize the World Cup, considered the pinnacle of international men’s football, with unique value.

He added, “I am pleased to note that the Saudi Football Association has announced its intention to submit a bid to host the 2034 World Cup, and the entire Asian football family stands united for this very important initiative for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. , and we are committed to working closely with it for the success of the global football family.”

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The Saudi federation’s statement came shortly after the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) announced a proposal submitted by Morocco, Spain and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup finals, with three matches being held in South America. Asian and Oceanian confederations must submit their files to host the 2034 edition.

The announcement also coincided almost a year after Gulf neighbor Qatar hosted the first World Cup in the Middle East and Arab countries, with the Saudi “Green” team winning a historic group stage win over Argentina, which went on to win the title.

Sports are central to Bin Salman’s plans

Following that World Cup, Saudi Arabia made a strong foray into the soccer transfer market, adding a host of sports stars to its professional league, starting with Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, ushering in an era that attracted the kingdom to huge salaries. World’s largest exporter of crude oil.

Sports are a key part of the reform agenda launched by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which aims to transform the kingdom into a tourism and business hub, while transforming the economy and diversifying its resources away from fossil fuels.

In the coming weeks, the kingdom is scheduled to host the final “League Golf” tournament of the regular season and the FIFA Club World Cup next December.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia was confirmed to host the 2027 Asian Cup football tournament, and last year it won the right to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games.

Riyadh’s willingness to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on sporting events has fueled accusations of “sportswashing”, or using sports to divert attention from human rights abuses.

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In an interview with Fox News last month, bin Salman dismissed the criticism, saying “I will continue to wash sports” if it benefits the Saudi economy.

The Gulf kingdom previously discussed the possibility of submitting a three-continent bid to host the World Cup with Egypt and Greece, but the plan fell through.

France 24/AFP

Camelia Garner
Camelia Garner
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