Saudi Arabia plans to host the 2030 World Cup

Saudi Arabia is planning a joint bid for the right to host the 2030 World Cup, with European champions Italy as the current leading challenger to share the privilege.

The idea that two countries would merge to host the international competition was previously opposed by FIFA, but the governing body is now in favor of this structure.

Saudi Arabia and Italy can host joint World Cup 2030 / LIONEL BONAVENTURE / Getty Images

They believe it will help to share the financial responsibility for hosting the tournament, a fact that is more relevant than ever, given the plans to expand the World Cup from 2026, when the United States, Mexico and Canada will all host.

Athletic has claimed that Saudi Arabia is already laying the groundwork for an attempt to host the 2030 World Cup and wants to share the tournament, with US-based global consulting firm Boston Consultancy Group advising them on their potential partners.

And it is believed that the Middle East state can choose Italy as its partners, given their position in world football and their already formed connections both in and out of football. Saudi Arabia has already hosted two Italian Super Cup finals in recent years and will do so again for the 2021/22 campaign.

The rich state would also prove to be a useful ally in Italy’s efforts to host the summer competition, as they could help fund the renovation of stadiums in Italy, some of which have been left to rot since the 1990 World Cup.

However, La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Il Napolista) claims that FIGC – the Italian Football Federation – has denied that Italy is working on a World Cup cooperation in 2030, despite “excellent relations” with Saudi Arabia.

Italy is known for its interest in hosting a tournament in the future. Gabriele Gravina, president of the Italian Football Federation, said on Tuesday that they “will evaluate an Italian candidacy for the 2028 European Championships and the 2030 World Cup, which celebrates the centenary of the World Cup.”

Italy has hosted four major tournaments since the 1934 World Cup and hopes to secure fifth place after its success in Euro 2020 this summer.

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