- Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman emphasized that Saudi Arabia’s desire to claim the World Cup in 2034 reflects Saudi Arabia’s progress in various fields.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced its intention to bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup. The 2034 bid, led by the Saudi Arabian Football Association, aims to host a world-class event and will draw inspiration from the Kingdom’s ongoing social and economic changes and the country’s deep-rooted passion for football.
Saudi Arabia continues to gain experience in hosting world-class football events and continues to plan to welcome fans from around the world to the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup and 2027 AFC Asian Cup, giving Saudi Arabia the opportunity to host its first bid. Speaking about his intention to run, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman emphasized that Saudi Arabia’s desire to claim the 2034 World Cup reflects Saudi Arabia’s progress in various fields.
With its rich cultural heritage, economic strength and the ambition of its people, the Kingdom has quickly become a leading center and destination for major international events. According to Saudi Arabia Vision 2030, sport plays an important role in promoting the country’s economic growth and improving the quality of life for all, and has a unique ability to unite and integrate different cultures.
Since 2018, Saudi Arabia has hosted some of the world’s biggest sporting events and has hosted more than 50 international events for men and women, including football, motorsport, tennis, equestrian, eSports and golf. Saudi Arabia has qualified for the iconic tournament six times since 1994, most recently in 2022 when the Green Eagles historic upset eventual champions Argentina.
Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki said: “Hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2034 will help us realize our dream of becoming a leading country in world sport and will mark an important milestone in the country’s transformation. As a thriving and popular home for all sports, we believe hosting the FIFA World Cup is the next step in our football journey.
“As we bid to host the 2034 World Cup, the Kingdom aims to deliver an unprecedented experience to everyone around the world. “The Kingdom’s recent success in hosting various major international sporting events and winning the right to host many international events in the coming years is the best testimony to the unique status our country has achieved, making it an ideal and outstanding country. Prince Abdulaziz said: “This is the place to host a special World Cup.”
Yasser Mishehar, president of the Saudi Arabian Football Association, said: “We believe the time has come for Saudi Arabia to host the World Cup. “Our offer was motivated by our love for the game and our desire to see it grow in every corner of the world. We want to promote our football culture and share our country with the world. “When we bid to host this iconic event, we took into account Saudi Arabia’s passion for innovation and growth; the Kingdom’s transformative path was the driving force behind our bid. We are committed to delivering an extraordinary event to mark the occasion. Sport, engage players and fans, and inspire future generations.” Misechal added: “The quest to host the FIFA World Cup is only possible with the full support of the Kingdom’s leadership, and we thank them for their continued commitment to moving the country forward and opening up new opportunities.”
With the FIFA World Cup expanding to 48 teams from 2026, the logistics of the event are key for players, officials and fans. Saudi Arabia will host all games in the country, simplifying travel, optimizing game schedules and providing a unique fan experience in host venues and cities.
Saudi Arabia is a young and dynamic country with over 70% of the population under the age of 35 and home to one of the strongest leagues in Asia, the Saudi Professional League. Welcoming and attracting fans from all over the world, the league is home to some of the best Saudi talent and international star players from over 45 different countries.
The SAFF is committed to investing in and developing the game at all levels of men’s and women’s football, as evidenced by recent notable achievements including winning the Men’s U-23 AFC Asian Cup, a 160% increase in investment in youth football and the opening of 18 regional youth training centres, increasing registered number of coaches from 750 in 2018 to over 5,500 today, an increase of 56% and 86% respectively in the number of male and female athletes registered since 2021. Saudi Arabia wants to develop sports and create new opportunities across the ecosystem, including women’s sports. Since 2019, the SAFF has successfully launched senior women’s teams and U-17 teams, two professional women’s leagues with 38 clubs and a schoolgirl league that welcomed more than 48,000 girls in its first week. The number of female coaches has also increased by 800% in just two years.