Saudi Arabia has launched its campaign to be the sole host of the FIFA 2034 World Cup having abandoned its joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup alongside Egypt and Greece.
A report by The Times earlier this week stated that Saudi officials and ministers have approached senior figures in European football to secure backing for the Kingdom to host the prestigious international football tournament.
Following the success of the year’s historic World Cup staged in winter in the neighbouring Gulf state of Qatar, Saudi Arabia is looking to host another tournament in the Middle East, but in the regular summer season, despite the high temperatures. Although a repeat winter World Cup has not yet been ruled out. If the Saudi bid is successful, the games will likely be held in specific, high-altitude venues.
As reported by The Sun yesterday, one potential venue will be the $1 trillion megacity, NEOM, unveiled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017, as part of the country’s Vision2030. The futuristic smart city has already been awarded the 2029 Asian Winter Games.
Fellow Arab state Morocco may also become the second such country to host the World Cup, as it is currently seeking to host the 2030 edition jointly with Spain and Portugal.
Last week, it was reported by Iranian state-media that Riyadh sought support from Tehran in its bid to become sole host of the World Cup, although this has not been confirmed by independent reports. The Sun also reported that the Saudis have signed memorandums of understanding with the African and Oceanic confederations as well as numerous national football federations including Ecuador, Ghana, India and Singapore.