Saudi Arabia are considering a joint World Cup bid with Italy.
Saudi Arabia and Italy could emerge as potential joint candidates to host the 2030 World Cup, according to a report in The Athletic.
The publication states that Saudi Arabia are considering a joint bid to host the World Cup and “several sources” have told them that “Italy is the most likely candidate” to be their hosting partner.
— Saudi National Team (@SaudiNT_EN) March 12, 2021
Saudi Arabia considering other options.
Another option that has been mooted is for Saudi Arabia to team up with Egypt and Morocco to make a “MENA bid” (Middle East and North Africa).
Morocco have already confirmed their intention to bid for the 2030 World Cup, with or without Saudi Arabia.
This will be the sixth time that Morocco have attempted to host the World Cup, having put forward unsuccessful bids for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions, as well as for the 2026 tournament, which was ultimately won by USA, Canada and Mexico.
The article states that Saudi Arabia and Italy “already enjoy close business, diplomatic and sporting relations,” with Saudi Arabia set to host the Italian Super Cup next January.
The perfect picture doesn’t exi….
(📸: Leonardo Bonucci on Instagram) pic.twitter.com/3qwDnGPEca
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) July 12, 2021
Saudi Arabia and Italy face stiff competition.
Any countries looking to host the 2030 World Cup could come up against a joint bid from the United Kingdom and Ireland, with interest already expressed from Governments on both sides of the Irish Sea.
However, it has been reported that any potential bid could have been damaged by the unsavoury scenes at Wembley before and during the Euro 2020 Final earlier this month.
A South American bid involving Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay has been confirmed, with organisers pinning their hopes on the 2030 World Cup marking the centenary of the competition’s debut in Uruguay in 1930.
Spain and Portugal have also announced their intention to bid for the tournament.
— Italy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (@azzurri) July 19, 2021
Italy on crest of a wave.
While Saudi Arabia’s human rights record would likely make it an unpopular choice to host the World Cup, they will feel that getting Italy involved might swing votes in their favour.
Italy are just off the back of winning Euro 2020, with a squad that won many admirers throughout the tournament.
Saudi Arabia have qualified for the World Cup on five occasions but haven’t progressed beyond the group stage since their debut appearance at USA 94.