- Sources reveal that Saudi Arabia is all but certain to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup
- FIFA announced last week that three countries would organize an opening match in 2030
- Listen to the latest episode of the Mail Sport podcast ‘It all begins’
There was intense speculation last week that FIFA’s decision to transfer hosting rights for the 2030 World Cup to six countries on three continents would effectively mean that the 2034 event would be a gift for Saudi Arabia to host. steps.
Now sources close to the power lines have told MailSport: ‘A Saudi World Cup in 2034 is not only likely, it is effectively a foregone conclusion. “Money has spoken again and the event will be worth billions in new money to FIFA.”
In a surprise move, FIFA announced last Wednesday that Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay will each host one of the three opening matches of the 2030 World Cup, 100 years after Uruguay hosted the first World Cup. And then Spain, Portugal and Morocco will share the remaining 101 matches of a 104-match, 48-team tournament.
FIFA has been criticized by environmentalists for the carbon footprint this arrangement creates. But the bulk of the tournament will be played in a relatively small geographic area in southwestern Europe and northwest Africa, in a time zone that is relatively favorable to much of the world.
The country likely to be most upset by these developments is Australia, as FIFA also announced that the 2034 World Cup would only be open to bidders from Asia and Oceania. And just as they announced this, Saudi Arabia confirmed they would bid for 2034. What a coincidence!
FIFA president Gianni Infantino is reportedly close to Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman
The Crown Prince has overseen investments in the sports industry on a massive scale
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And Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, the most powerful man in Asian football, then declared: “The entire Asian football family will be united in support of the momentous initiative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we are committed to working closely with the global football family to ensure its success.”
This greatly irritated Australia, which is today part of the Asian confederation. They want to usher in 2034, after organizing a fantastic Women’s Football World Cup in 2023. But Saudi Arabia will get most of Asia’s 47 votes and all of Africa’s 54 votes.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino is close to Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman and is no doubt looking forward to billions of dollars of Saudi money flowing into FIFA coffers through sponsorship deals in the coming years.