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Saudi Arabia makes strong bid to host Asian Cup in 2027 with promise to boost sport

Published: Updated:

A delegation of Saudi Arabia’s bid team to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027 delivered on Sundayits official Bid Book to the AFC President Shaikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa and AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, in the President’s home country of Bahrain.

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With COVID-19 restrictions preventing the Saudi delegation from being at the AFC Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, the bid team were pleased to have the opportunity to present the bid book to the AFC President and General Secretary in person.

Among those representing the Saudi 2027 bid were Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) President Yasser Almisehal, SAFF Vice President and AFC Executive Committee member Khalid Althebity, as well as SAFF Board Member Ahmed Eid Al Harbi, and the SAFF General Secretary Ibrahim Alkassim.

The Bid Book was presented to the AFC President alongside a hologram of Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz, who introduced the key messages of the bid.

The decision for the host of the AFC Asian Cup 2027 is due to be made in 2021.

‘Forward for Asia’

Under the slogan ‘Forward for Asia’, the Saudi 2027 bid seeks to use the Asian Cup in 2027 as a platform to provide new and unique opportunities for the AFC’s 47 Member Associations to build the profile of football in their countries.

The meeting with the AFC leadership follows on from Saturday’s announcement of a brand new sponsor for the bid, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), which together with a highly successful bid engagement campaign, #PlayItForward, have indicated unprecedented levels of preparation and support for what would be the first ever Asian Cup in Saudi Arabia, should the hosting rights be awarded to the Kingdom.

AFC President Shaikh Salman said, “We could witness five Member Associations submitting bids to host the AFC Asian Cup 2027, which demonstrates the ever-growing status of this competition and how attractive it is both technically and commercially to potential hosts.”

Yasser Almisehal, President of SAFF, said, “We are very grateful to Shaikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa for taking the time to meet with us in person to receive our Bid Book. Saudi 2027 is about the future of Asian football. While our Bid Book provides an overview for how we will host the best possible AFC Asian Cup from a technical perspective, it also includes a clear overview of our vision for leaving a lasting legacy for all of Asian football."

We will ensure that every AFC Member Association is included in the tournament, whether it is in the preparation in the years leading up, through football and knowledge exchanges or further growth opportunities, Saudi 2027 is ready to host an incredible event. We look forward to continuing to share our plans over the coming months.”