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Saudi Arabia moves to privatize sports from next year

Sports in Saudi Arabia will be privatized from next year and will begin with big soccer clubs, according to informed sources

Published: Updated:

Sports in Saudi Arabia will be privatized from next year and will begin with big soccer clubs, according to informed sources.

Privatization process will cover all sports clubs and will be launched in August 2016 just before the start of Abdullatif Jameel Football League competition, sources said.

They said there will be a special mechanism for privatization including the club’s location, the number of its fans, its championship record and its contribution to the national teams with good players in various age groups.

The privatization file will be submitted to the clubs for deliberation in the fourth and final quarter of the current sports season before its final endorsement and execution.

The sources believe that the privatization of the sport clubs will put a seal on their frequent financial crises and their continuous changes of administrators which have destabilized the clubs and kept them way from competitiveness.

They said the privatization process will gradually cover all other sport activities.

According to the sources, the General Presidency of Youth Welfare (GPYW) will finance all sport activities and games of the clubs while giving a year to the managements of the clubs to confirm the feasibility of some activities and do away with others.

Several Shura (Consultative) Council members have been suggesting that the GPYW is turned into a ministry to make it more effective.

The GPYW, established in 1974, is mandated to make sporting, recreational and cultural facilities and events accessible to young Saudis throughout the country and to get as many people interested and involved in these activities as possible.

Outside the country’s educational system, the GPYW is the primary provider of sports facilities and programs. With almost unlimited moral and material support from the leadership, the GPYW has put into place a formidable sports structure and program that covers the entire country.