Report: Saudi Arabia seeks to conquer Italy in bid for 2030 World Cup

Kooperation? Saudi-Arabien und Italien könnten bei einer WM-Austragung gemeinsame Sache machen.

Opening game in Rome, second game in Riyadh? like online portal athletic Reportedly, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considering hosting the World Cup in nine years – alongside European champions Italy. Although there is a distance of more than 5,000 km between the two capitals, they want to host the 2030 World Cup with the two hosts – an unusual plan.

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The concept is said to have been designed by the American consulting agency Boston Consulting Group. Reportedly, it advises the desert state on a planned application for the 2030 World Cup. In addition to a candidacy with Morocco and Egypt, the Arab state should above all consider an alliance with a European state, as the infrastructure and economic prerequisites are likely to be greater there. Italy’s association president Gabriele Gravina announced on Thursday that the country of the current European champions will consider an application for the EM 2028 and 2030 World Cups.

Combined World Cup alignment likely to become the norm in future

If several countries are put together in the past, they may become more regular in the future: from the 2026 World Cup, the tournament will have 48 teams instead of the previous 32. So in five years time the tournament is already being organized as a joint event by Canada, Mexico and the United States. For the 2030 edition of the World Cup, Portugal and Spain have applied together, as have Romania, Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria, as well as Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile. Great Britain and Ireland are also considering a common direction.

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However, it is doubtful whether the Italian federation would even be open to a joint application, not least because of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. The state has been repeatedly criticized for its authoritarian government and human rights suppression, most recently in the context of the state-ordered killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi State Fund-backed consortium’s takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United failed last year due to public pressure.

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