Saudi Arabia announce plans to host 2034 World Cup

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Saudi Arabia announce plans to host 2034 World Cup
Saudi Arabia would be the second middle eastern state to host a World Cup after Qatar
Saudi Arabia would be the second middle eastern state to host a World Cup after Qatar
Reuters
Saudi Arabia announced it will bid to host the 2034 World Cup just minutes after the world governing body FIFA invited countries from the Asia and Oceania regions to submit bids.

"Led by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF), the bid for 2034 intends to deliver a world-class tournament and will draw inspiration from Saudi Arabia's ongoing social and economic transformation and the country's deep-rooted passion for football," Saudi FA said in a statement.

"Saudi Arabia’s inaugural FIFA World Cup bid is backed by the country’s growing experience of hosting world-class football events and its ongoing plans to welcome fans across the world to the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup and 2027 AFC Asian Cup."

The Saudi announcement came shortly after FIFA named Morocco, Spain and Portugal as hosts of the 2030 World Cup, with Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay hosting the opening matches to mark the tournament's centenary.

After FIFA said that the 2034 World Cup will be held in the Asia or Oceania region, Asian Football Confederation president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa welcomed the decision.

"We strongly believe it paves the way for a more equitable opportunity for all confederations to bid for, and host, the prestigious FIFA World Cup - the pinnacle of world men’s football," he said.

The 2026 World Cup, which will feature 48 teams, will be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico.

A number of top footballers, such Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Karim Benzema, have recently signed big-money deals with Saudi Pro League clubs.

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