Saudi Arabia Officially Launches Bid for 2034 FIFA World Cup
Saudi Arabia has made its official bid announcement for the 2034 FIFA World Cup, demonstrating its strong commitment to hosting the prestigious tournament for the first time.
Saudi Arabian Football Federation’s push comes in the wake of FIFA’s surprise announcement last week that potential host nations will only have four weeks to register their official interest, while the bid process is also confined to countries in Oceania and Asia, seemingly putting Saudi Arabia in the box seat.
“This is the second step of a hugely exciting journey that the nation is embarking on,” SAFF president Yasser Al Miseha said.
“Last week we announced our ambitions to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, and this official submission continues our journey to make the dreams of our people a reality.”
“The 2034 FIFA World Cup is our invitation to the world to witness Saudi Arabia’s development, experience its culture and become part of its history. We are extremely committed to presenting the most competitive bid possible that will also help unite the world through football.”
SAFF said following the announcement of its intentions to host the tournament, over 70 FIFA Member Associations publicly declared their support for Saudi Arabia’s bid.
Today, we enter the next chapter of Saudi football: intending to bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup™ 🏆
— الاتحاد السعودي لكرة القدم (@saudiFF) October 4, 2023
Since 2018, Saudi Arabia has successfully hosted over 50 international sporting events spanning various disciplines, including soccer, motorsports, tennis, equestrianism, esports, and golf. These events are part of the broader Sports Clubs Investment and Privatisation Project, launched in early-June and championed by Prince Mohammed bin Salman. This initiative is aligned with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and places a special emphasis on soccer. Saudi Arabia recently hosted the 2023 African Super Cup and has been granted hosting rights for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.
The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s sporting endeavours. The PIF, which controversially acquired EPL club Newcastle United in October 2021, also owns the LIV Golf professional tour, which shook up the sport around the same time in highly contentious fashion, culminating in a merger with the PGA Tour in June this year.
The PIF is reportedly engaged in discussions with the ATP, the governing body of the elite men’s tennis tour, exploring potential co-investments as Saudi Arabia continues its expansion in the realm of high-profile sports.