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Football: Saudi Arabia to host 2034 FIFA Men’s World Cup

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

In the absence of any other contender(s), Saudi Arabia is set to host the FIFA Men’s World Cup to be held in 2034.

A formal announcement confirming this will be made at the FIFA Congress, which will take place later next year.

The FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, commented:

As we live in an increasingly divided and aggressive world, we show once again that football, the leading global sport, unites like nothing else.”

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation, Yasser Al Misehal, remarked that hosting the tournament was:

An open invitation to the world to experience our rich football culture.”

And added:

The Federation is fully committed to meeting and exceeding the bid’s requirements.”

However, not everybody has welcomed this news because of Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights.

Several human rights campaigners claim that the Saudi Government is using sport, including football, Formula 1, golf and boxing, to detract attention from human rights abuses and is, therefore, engaged in so-called ‘sportswashing’.

Whilst there is little doubt that Saudi Arabia will deliver a well-organised and excellent tournament, it may be seen as a case of money trumping morals!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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