Saudi Arabia offered to pay for new stadiums in Greece and Egypt if they joined their bid for the 2030 World Cup, reports POLITICO.
There are also two other joint bids for the 24th edition of the quadrennial competition.
European trio Spain, Portugal and Ukraine and South American quartet Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile are also keen. Morocco have also tabled a bid for the tournament.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud held a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis last year.
The Gulf country is ready to fully underwrite the costs of hosting for Greece and Egypt. Saudis would get to host 75% of all the matches as a result of the deal.
However, it is unclear whether the African and European countries agreed to the deal.
There will be 48 teams participating at the 2030 World Cup, with 80 games to be played. Sixty of those will take place in Saudi if Greece and Egypt agree to the Crown Prince’s terms.
The trio are yet to make an announcement but it is believed they are working on submitting their joint proposal. The bidding process is set to open officially later this year.
The hosts for the 2030 World Cup will be chosen at the 74th FIFA Congress in 2024, and Saudi will be working tirelessly to win.
Building new stadiums for themselves, Egypt and Greece will set them back billions of pounds. However, they have the financial muscles to pull it off.
The votes of 210 member associations of FIFA determine who hosts the World Cup.
The proposed intercontinental coalition will see Saudi take advantage of the voting system. The oil-rich country have continued to splash the cash in their attempt to rival Qatar in the footballing world.
Saudi bought Newcastle United as an answer to Qatar’s ownership of Paris Saint-Germain. Qatar hosted the 2022 World Cup and Saudi also want to do so.
The move has sparked disgust among human rights bodies across the world. The Kingdom has a long history of treating the LGBTQ+ community and migrant workers brutally.
Qatar was also accused of similar offences, but that did not stop them from hosting the World Cup.
It is unlikely to stop Saudi too, but they will have to pip fierce competition to the 2030 World Cup hosting rights.
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