Saudi Arabia submit official letter of intent to host the 2034 World Cup – with their bid already seen as a ‘done deal’ – after FIFA gave 2030 edition to six countries across three continents

  • The Kingdom looked to be in pole position after the 2030 hosts were confirmed 
  • Saudi’s bid is expected to have the backing of federations in Asia and Africa 
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Saudi Arabia has taken the next step in its bid to host the 2034 World Cup and presented a letter of intent to FIFA on Monday. 

The Kingdom first announced their intentions to host the storied competition after it was announced by the sport’s governing body that only bidders from Asia or Oceania would be considered for 2034. 

In the same announcement, FIFA president Gianni Infantino revealed the host of the 2030 centenary iteration of the competition, and the decision to split hosting duties between six different countries. 

Spain, Morocco, and Portugal will be the main tournament host, but in honour of the special anniversay, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina will all host opening matches. 

Saudi – whose investment in football and development of their own Pro League over the past 12 months has been astronomical – was initially tipped to bid for the 2030 World Cup. 

Saudi Arabia shared a letter of intent with FIFA as they shore up their bid for 2034 World Cup

That bid involved Greece, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia co-hosting the tournament, but plans were dropped, and Saudi are aiming to be the sole hosts in 2034.  

But Mail Sport reported that the state’s bid was all but a ‘done deal’, with the nation moving at pace to secure football’s marquee competition. 

‘Last week we announced our ambitions to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, and this official submission continues our journey to make the dreams of our people a reality,’ Yasser Al Misehal, President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) said in a statement on Monday. 

‘We are extremely committed to presenting the most competitive bid possible that will also help unite the world through football.’

FIFA are looking to move quickly in deciding the 2034 host: formal interest must be expressed by October 31, and a signed bidding agreement must be tabled by November 30. 

FIFA members will then have the opportunity to rubber-stamp the 2030 and 2034 hosts in late 2024. 

FIFA president Gianni Infantino (centre right, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar) has close ties to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (far right)

FIFA president Gianni Infantino (centre right, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar) has close ties to Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (far right) 

The federation claims that ‘over 70 FIFA Member Associations from across different continents have publicly pledged their support for the Kingdom.’

Saudi Arabia’s bid received the backing over the weekend of Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, the president of the Asian Football Confederation, who said that ‘the entire Asian football family will stand united in support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s momentous initiative’. 

A number of big-name players who feature in the Saudi Pro League – including England’s Jordan Henderson – also took to social media to support the announcement of the bid. 

Henderson shared a video on X (formerly Twitter) in which he said he was ‘very excited’, before adding: ‘Go Saudi Arabia 2034!’


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