Saudi Arabia and Italy considering joint bid to host 2030 World Cup

Sat, 2021-07-17 13:20

Saudi Arabia and Italy are considering a joint bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup, according to reports in the British press.

A report by The Athletic said that such a bid would come at a time when FIFA are encouraging the joint hosting of tournaments to reduce the financial burden on any one nation.

This is set to start with the 2026 World Cup, in which the increased number of teams, to 48, will play 80 matches, which will be held in the US, Canada and Mexico.

In contrast, a tournament with 32 teams, as it was last time in Russia and will be in Qatar next year, sees a total of 64 matches played.

Last May, British newspaper The Times, reported for the first time that Saudi Arabia was planning a bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

The newspaper said that Saudi Arabia used an American consulting firm to develop a strategy to present its bid to host the tournament, alongside a country on another continent, possibly in Europe.

FIFA also reportedly agreed to study a Saudi proposal to hold the FIFA Men’s and Women’s World Cup every two years instead of the current four, after members of the FIFA Congress voted during the meeting of its 71st General Assembly on May 21, 2020. The  proposal was approved by 166 votes for, and 22 against.

The four British Football Associations of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, in addition to that of the Republic of Ireland, are already preparing to submit a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

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Spain and Portugal will also bid, while several countries from South America are contending to host the tournament to celebrate the centenary of the first tournament hosted by Uruguay in 1930.

Meanwhile, Gabriele Gravina, president of the Italian Football Federation, said on Thursday that his country was considering a bid to host the European Championship 2028 or the 2030 World Cup, but conceded that its stadiums would need upgrading if it was to succeed.

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