Turkey joins growing global support for Saudi Arabia 2034 World Cup bid

TFF backs Saudi Arabia to have the 'passion and expertise' to host the global football finals

Support is building for Saudi Arabia's bid to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup. Getty
Powered by automated translation

Turkey has become the latest country to throw its support behind Saudi Arabia's bid to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup.

Saudi Arabia last week announced its intention to host football's global finals in 11 years' time and on Monday the Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) submitted their letter of intent to Fifa.

"This move marks the first formal step in our bid process and confirms our complete commitment to #Saudi2034," the SAFF posted on social media. "This comes after SAFF received support from over 70 Member Associations around the world."

Now the SAFF can count on the support of another association after the Turkish Football Federation released a statement on Monday night endorsing the kingdom's campaign.

"The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) strongly supports Saudi Arabia's initiative to host the 2034 Fifa World Cup," the statement read. "Saudi Arabia has emerged as a footballing powerhouse in recent years, boasting a domestic championship that has garnered international attention due to its array of renowned football stars.

"With a rich history of successfully organising international competitions, coupled with the memorable performance of their national team in the last World Cup held in Qatar, Saudi Arabia has firmly established itself as a capable and welcoming host nation.

"The TFF is confident that Saudi Arabia possesses the expertise and passion required to excel in this challenging and prestigious endeavour."

Among the countries to offer support, The National understands those include Thailand, Cuba, India, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has also officially declared its support for Saudi Arabia's bid.

The host nation automatically qualifies for the global finals. The World Cup was held in the Middle East for the first time last year in Qatar, where Saudi Arabia delivered one of the shocks of the tournament by beating eventual champions Argentina in the group stage.

'Hosting a World Cup means everything to us,' says Saudi football president

'Hosting a World Cup means everything to us,' says Saudi football president

The SAFF said it will present "its unique vision" for the World Cup, showcasing the kingdom's rich culture, heritage, and warm hospitality in the coming weeks.

In February, the kingdom was confirmed to host the 2027 Asian Cup, while it has also bid to stage the women’s edition of the continent’s marquee tournament in 2026.

Domestically, the Saudi Pro League has undergone a significant revamp following a summer in which it has signed the likes of Neymar, Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane, N’Golo Kante and Jordan Henderson. Global superstar Cristiano Ronaldo moved to the league in January.

Updated: October 10, 2023, 6:41 AM