Saudi Arabia is currently considering a bid to host FIFA World Cup in 2030. According to The Times, the country has hired a US consultancy to devise a strategy to bid for the tournament. It is also said that the country is partnering up with another nation from UEFA on a joint bid.
Saudi Arabia is not the only country planning to bid as UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson also revealed that his government is strongly in favour of a joint bid by the UK and Ireland for the tournament. Not only UK and Ireland, Spain and Portugal are also interested to enter the race with a joint bid.
Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia have also shown their intention to launch a combined bid. In 2019, a combined bid by Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay was also placed. The next FIFA World Cup will be played in Qatar in 2022, while the United States of America, Canada and Mexico will combine to host the event in 2026.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino also visited Saudi Arabia Football Federation in January and met with the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to talk over the role football can play as a uniting factor in the region.
Saudi Arabia is slowly becoming a country hosting major sporting events as they got the rights to host the Asian Games in 2034. They will also host the Formula 1 Grand Prix for the very first time ever in Jeddah in November 2021.
The growing influence of Saudi Arabia in football could have been even bigger if the consortium led by Royal Prince was able to complete the takeover of Newcastle United in 2020. The Premier League club reportedly remains subject to interest from the same consortium. Hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2030 will further enhance the influence of Saudi Arabia in sports and football.