Connect with us


Saudi Arabia swoops in for 2034 World Cup



Saudi Arabia swoops in for 2034 World Cup

The Arab world is here for football and they aren’t leaving anytime soon.

Football isn’t coming home anytime soon, referencing the famous catchphrase at the Euro 2020, but seriously, football seems destined to be headed for the Arabian world as Saudi Arabia swoops in to bid for the 2034 World Cup.

Following the success of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has formally thrown its hat into the ring to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, following FIFA’s confirmation that Saudi Arabia stands as the sole candidate for the prestigious event.

This bid announcement arrives just two years after Qatar, Saudi Arabia’s neighboring nation, successfully hosted the first-ever World Cup in the Middle East.

Branded under the slogan “Growing. Together,” the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) unveiled its bid logo, website, and a promotional film, celebrating the nation’s fervor, spirit, and diversity in football.

Hammad Albalawi, the head of SAFF’s bid unit, expressed the bid’s significance, stating,

“This campaign is powered by the hopes and dreams of 32 million people in Saudi Arabia.

“Our responsibility is to submit the best possible bid to FIFA, make our country proud, and fulfill the trust placed upon us by more than 130 Member Associations across the world who supported our bid.”

The bid aligns with Saudi Arabia’s broader Vision 2030 reform agenda spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aiming to position the kingdom as a global tourism, business, and sports destination.

The nation has significantly invested in sports infrastructure and events to bolster its sporting stature.

Saudi Arabia launches bid for 2034 World Cup - Vanguard News

Recently, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced a strategic partnership with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), marking another step in the kingdom’s sports investment strategy.

Notably, PIF has ventured into various sports ventures, including the establishment of the LIV golf tour, acquisition of English Premier League club Newcastle United, and ownership of four clubs in the Saudi Pro League.

However, amidst these investments, Saudi Arabia has faced criticism, with accusations of “sportswashing” to deflect international scrutiny of its human rights record.

Saudi Arabia officially declared its bid to host the 2034 World Cup on October 4, immediately after the bid procedure was launched.

The bid was supported by various nations within the Asian and Oceanian confederations due to FIFA’s invitation exclusively extended to these regions, as part of the continental rotation policy.

Initially, Indonesia pondered a joint bid with Australia or other neighboring countries but eventually threw its support behind Saudi Arabia’s bid on October 19.