Saudi Arabia set to host 2023 FIFA club world cup

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Saudi Arabia, whose influence in Football world is growing is set to host the next FIFA Club World cup.

Saudi Arabia’s growing influence in world football has been extended with the nation selected to host the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup for the first time in December.

Spanish side Real Madrid won the competition for a record fifth time with a 5-3 win against Saudi champions Al Hilal in Morocco earlier this month.

With Saudi Arabia expected to launch a bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup later this year, the move to hand the Club World Cup to the country will see the Middle East nation host a high-profile football tournament for the first time.

Five nations — Brazil, Japan, UAE, Qatar and Morocco — have previously staged the Club World Cup, which has been contested by the champions of the six continental confederations and a team from the host country.

And FIFA has now confirmed that this year’s tournament, which well be held between Dec. 12-22, will take place in Saudi Arabia, whose Public Investment Fund (PIF) are the majority owners of Premier League team Newcastle United.

Saudi Arabia’s sports minister HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, said: “We are honoured and extremely excited to be given the opportunity to welcome the world’s leading football clubs and their fans to Saudi Arabia.

“Many fans will have recently witnessed our ability as a nation to compete at the highest possible level on the pitch. Now we have the chance to prove we are also world-class hosts off it. We look forward to showcasing our genuine love of the game and our desire to be a force for good.

“Today is another important step forward on our journey of transformation in football and as a country and I trust all involved will see for themselves the undeniable progress being made at many different levels.

“We host international sports for the simple reason that we truly believe in the power of sport to inspire our boys and girls, to create new connections and build new relationships. This will mean so much to our people where 70% are under the age of 35 and are absolutely obsessed with football.”

The tournament is expected to be staged between Saudi capital Riyadh and Jeddah, with full details of the venues due to be disclosed at a later date.

After announcing in December that the Club World Cup would expand to 32 teams beginning in June 2025, FIFA revealed on Tuesday how the qualifying slots would be distributed.

Twelve teams would come from UEFA, with six from South America and four each from the confederations of Asia and Africa. A single place will continue to be reserved for Oceania and a club from the tournament host country.

 

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