Could Saudi Arabia End Up Hosting A Piece Of The 2030 Men’s World Cup?

In FIFA’s world, money talks.

One-time National Football League Dallas Cowboys running back Duane Thomas was asked a question during the lead up to the 1971 Super Bowl game. ‘Is this the ultimate game?’ Thomas responded. “If it’s the ultimate game, how come they’re playing it again next year?” If the 2022 Men’s World Cup is the ultimate tournament, why are they playing it in North America in 2026 and why is the governing body of soccer, FIFA, soliciting bids for the 2030 event? The answer? There is money to be made and countries think that hosting a World Cup is prestigious. Because it requires so much money to please FIFA in making sure the group has the right stadiums for its glitzy event, the 2030 bidders are following the route of the hosts of the 2026 Men’s World Cup, Canada, Mexico and the United States and are combining bids.

One country and two groups have officially announced their bids to host the 2030 World Cup. Morocco as a stand-alone bid while  Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay are pushing a South American bid and an unusual trio Spain, Portugal and Ukraine are presenting a united bid. Morocco keeps trying to land the World Cup and keeps failing. The country lost out in 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2026. But there may be a much bigger player who is willing to spend whatever it takes to land the 2030 Men’s World Cup. Saudi Arabia. There are unsubstantiated reports that the Saudis will launch a joint bid with Egypt and Greece for the 2030 World Cup. FIFA likes money. FIFA gave Qatar the 2022 event despite its terrible human rights record. The Saudi horrible human rights record won’t bother FIFA.

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Christian Pulisic of the United States lies on the pitch after scoring as teammates Sergino Dest, left, and Josh Sargent celebrate during the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)