Saudi Arabia mulls joint 2030 World Cup with Italy: reports
The Saudi kingdom is allegedly planning on submitting a joint application with the European nation as a potential partner, according to a report by The Athletic.
To facilitate the move, Saudi Arabia has reportedly sought the assistance of US firm Boston Consultancy Group, the report added.
Egypt and Morocco are also listed as potential partners for Saudi Arabia, though it is unclear whether the two countries would be prepared due to a lack of infrastructure and commercial issues.
The kingdom has yet to publicly announce the move, however Italy’s football federation chief, Gabriele Gravina confirmed his country "will evaluate an Italian candidacy for the 2028 European Championship and the World Cup of 2030, in which the centenary of the world championship is celebrated."
If Saudi Arabia secures the rights to host the tournament, it would mark the second such event in the history of the Middle East.
Next year’s World Cup is on track to be held in Qatar, bringing the major global sporting event to the region for the first time since its inception.
The Gulf state won the historic bid back in 2010 and has since undertaken major projects, including eight new state-of-the-art stadiums to accommodate an expected 1.5 million visitors next year.
The biggest single-sport event in the world will kick off on 21st November 2022 in Qatar and conclude on 18th December, coinciding with Qatar National Day, a national commemoration of its unification in 1878.
The ambitious infrastructure project has reached near completion, with all eight stadiums located within 50km of central Doha set to be ready by the end of the year.
Fans, players and officials will stay in one accommodation throughout the event, which will conclude with the final at the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium.
FIFA announced that the tournament will be played during the winter season for the first time, due to extreme humidity and heat levels in the summer months in Doha.
Qatari authorities have vowed to host a Covid free World Cup by providing shots of the vaccine to international spectators flocking to the country. Those who are not vaccinated will not be allowed to attend the event.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, said the global sporting event will go ahead as planned despite the pandemic.
"We, in Qatar, are ready for this occasion," Sheikh Tamim said.
Meanwhile, the following 2026 World Cup is due to take be held in Canada, the US and Mexico.