Start your countdown! The next edition of the FIFA Club World Cup is set to take place in Saudi Arabia, The FIFA Council announced on 14 February. The council unanimously voted for the Saudi Arabian Football Federation to stage the event, which includes the six continental champions plus the host’s national champions.
The intercontinental competition, which will take place from December 12 to December 22, will be the most recent significant international athletic event to take place in the Kingdom. The event will promote the growth of both the men’s and women’s game in the nation at all levels.
The decision was taken on Tuesday during a meeting of the FIFA Council, only days after Al-Hilal played Real Madrid became the first Saudi team to win the AFC Champions League and advance to the tournament’s final. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia was selected by the Asian Football Confederation to host the 2027 Asian Cup. Saudi Arabia will be the competition’s sixth host nation since its start in 2000.
Speaking about the decision, Saudi Arabia’s sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, said: “We are honored 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 national sport of Saudi Arabia is football, which is played, watched, or attended by 80% of the country’s population. Football is ingrained in communities across the whole kingdom.
The FIFA Club World Cup 2023 award marks the most recent phase in Saudi football’s growth. Additionally, the Kingdom just received confirmation that it will host the 2027 AFC Asian Cup and is actively seeking to host the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation and newly elected FIFA Council member, Yasser Al-Misehal, said: “The FIFA Club World Cup is a special competition that has delivered incredible moments.
“Not only has it gifted many memories to millions across the globe, but the tournament has also created new international rivalries and forged new friendships within the game. We thank FIFA for their trust in us to deliver an exceptional edition of the event.
President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) and newly elected Fifa Council Member Yasser Al Misehal said: “The Fifa Club World Cup™ is a special competition that has delivered incredible moments. Not only has it gifted many memories to millions across the globe, the tournament has created new international rivalries and forged new friendships within the game. We thank Fifa for their trust in us to deliver an exceptional edition of the event.
“Saudi football is going through an unprecedented of growth, there is fresh energy and sense of optimism thanks to a clear strategy across all areas of the game. Currently we’ve more players registered at all age groups for boys and girls than ever before. We have more qualified coaches, more qualified referees, better governance and stronger domestic leagues including the SPL. The future is bright, and this tournament is another highlight to look forward to especially when you consider some of the mouthwatering fixtures and players who might take part.”