Saudi Arabia launches bid to host 2034 World Cup

Announcement comes as Morocco, Spain and Portugal are set to co-host 2030 tournament

Saudi Arabia fans enjoy themselves in the stands at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. PA Photo
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Saudi Arabia on Wednesday launched its bid to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup, just as the world governing body announced Morocco is set to co-host the 2030 tournament.

Saudi Arabia's bid marked a significant day for the Middle East and North Africa region after Fifa announced Morocco had been named as one of the three main hosts of the 2030 edition, alongside Spain and Portugal, with the first few matches of the finals to be held in South America as part of the centenary celebrations. The decision needs to be ratified by the Fifa Congress next year.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation said it "intends to deliver a world-class tournament and will draw inspiration from Saudi Arabia's ongoing social and economic transformation and the country's deep-rooted passion for football".

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: "Saudi Arabia’s desire to bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup is a reflection of the country’s progress in all sectors. The kingdom has quickly emerged as a leading hub and an international destination for hosting major events thanks to its rich cultural heritage, economic strength and the ambition of its people."

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, the Saudi Sports Minister, said that hosting the tournament would be a dream come true.

“Hosting a Fifa World Cup in 2034 would help us achieve our dream of becoming a leading nation in world sport and would mark a significant milestone in the country’s transformation," he said.

"As an emerging and welcoming home for all sports, we believe that hosting a Fifa World Cup is a natural next step in our football journey."

On Wednesday, it was announced by Fifa that only bids from the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation would be considered for the 2034 finals.

That has opened the door for Saudi Arabia to clinch the hosting rights. Although, Australia could yet prove a serious rival for the tournament.

Updated: October 05, 2023, 5:17 AM