Saudi Arabia 'not planning 2030 Fifa World Cup bid'

Reports suggested country could host with Egypt and Greece

Saudi Arabia stunned Argentina in their first match, but couldn't win their second game against Poland, meaning it's all to play for against Mexico on Wednesday. Ahmed Yosri / Reuters
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Saudi Arabian officials said the country doesn’t have an official bid to host the World Cup, retracting earlier comments made by Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb.

“Saudi Arabia does not have an official bid to host the Fifa World Cup,” a Tourism Ministry spokesman told Bloomberg.

Mr Al Khateeb had a day earlier told Bloomberg in an interview that the kingdom was considering a bid for the 2030 World Cup.

Reports earlier this year claimed Riyadh would hook up with Egypt and Greece for a joint bid, with matches played across the three countries.

The kingdom has already secured the Asian Winter Games in 2029, an annual Formula 1 race, and several high-profile boxing matches.

“Saudi Arabia is always considering to host a number of large sporting events, as part of promoting sport and tourism in the kingdom in line with Vision 2030,” the Tourism Ministry spokesperson said.

Greek media and Egypt's state-owned newspaper Akhbar El Yom reported that talks between the three countries were in the works in August.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attended the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Qatar last week alongside Fifa President Gianni Infantino.

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Updated: November 30, 2022, 12:27 PM