September 9 – Saudi Arabia will reportedly launch a joint bid with Egypt and Greece to host the 2030 World Cup within a matter of weeks.
The Times reports that the Saudis are poised to move forward with a bid as lead partner together with Egypt and Greece for the 2030 global finals. If successful, it would mean a tournament staged across three continents and another finals in the winter. This year’s World Cup in Qatar is the first to be played in November and December following concerns over the summer heat in Doha.
Since 2017, Saudi Arabia have moved to take a greater interest in sports and hosting international sports events, including boxing and formula one. The Arab kingdom has set its sights on the 2026 Women’s Asian Cup and Asian Games. Saudi Arabia is also bidding for the 2027 Asian Cup.
The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) has nurtured strong ties with FIFA recently. They moved to propose a biennial World Cup, an idea that eventually died down following widespread opposition from both UEFA and Conmebol.
Infantino, who lives in Doha, is also a regular in Riyadh. He frequently meets with Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman. The FIFA president also met Greek FA president Panagiotis Baltakos this week.
FIFA’s website said the meeting at its Paris office was “to discuss Greek football in general and continued cooperation between the two organisations”. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reportedly discussed the plans with the president of UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin.
Previously, Egyptian media also reported that the country would be involved in the bid.
“Our country has the potential for the World Cup, but it is something that needs to be considered first,” said Egypt’s sports minister Ashraf Sobhi.
Sobhi is believed to have already discussed the bid with his Saudi counterpart.
If Saudi Arabia move ahead with their bid, they will face competition from a four-nation South American bid as well as a joint bid from Portugal and Spain. Earlier this week, Ceferin said that he backed the Iberian bid.
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