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Football

08th Feb 2023

Saudi Arabia offered to pay for new stadiums in Greece and Egypt as part of joint World Cup bid

Callum Boyle

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia are looking to co-host the 2030 World Cup

Saudi Arabia reportedly offered to pay for new stadiums in Greece and Egypt as part of their ongoing bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup.

The three nations are working together to win the rights to host football’s biggest competition and face rival bids from several others.

A joint bid between Spain, Portugal and Ukraine is one while a joint South American one of Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile are also in contention.

FIFA’s congress will vote on a decision in 2024 with the window for official bids opening in June 2022.

In order to ensure they win the rights, POLITICO have reported that Saudi Arabia have told Greece and Egypt that they will effectively pay for all of the costs in return for hosting three quarters of the games.

Although it would cost billions of pounds in construction costs, Mohammed bin Salman – the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia – and the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis reportedly spoke about the possibility during a private conversation last summer.

It’s unknown if Greece and Egypt have accepted the offer from the Gulf State however it’s believed that by playing the World Cup across three continents, they stand more chance of winning the rights.

Saudi Arabia

By having three continents, they would theoretically be able to attract votes from a wider pool of the FIFA congress, which consists of 200 members from all over the world.

There is belief that another tournament solely in the Middle East – eight years after Qatar would have hosted it – would not stand as much chance of being successful.

If Saudi Arabia was to be part of the winning bid, it would cast controversy over the World Cup again once more.

They’ve been accused of using sportswashing on multiple occasions to distract people from their appalling human rights record.

Heavyweight boxing bouts, a Formula One Grand Prix  and the decision to fund the controversial LIV Golf tour while Newcastle United are owned by a Saudi-backed group.

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