Saudi Arabia to host 2023 FIFA Club World Cup

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Saudi Arabia will host the FIFA Club World Cup this year from December 12 to 22, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation announced on Tuesday.

The event was last held in Morocco, and in the UAE in 2020 and 2021. Brazil, Japan and Qatar have also played host to the international sporting event in previous years.

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Saudi national teams have participated in the event five times, Al Arabiya reported on Tuesday, with al-Nasr in the first edition in 2000, followed by al-Ittihad in 2005, and al-Hilal in the 2019, 2021, and 2022 tournaments.

Staging major events makes up a significant strand of the country’s strategy to develop its sporting industry. On February 1, Saudi Arabia was confirmed as host for the 2027 Asian Cup, the continent’s biggest soccer tournament that is held every four years.

Football in Saudi Arabia has been in the spotlight in recent months, most recently due to Portuguese player Cristiano Ronaldo’s decision to join al-Nasr and the Saudi team’s historic win against Argentina in the FIFA World Cup last year.

The Kingdom has in recent years made a significant effort to invest more in sports as part of efforts underlined by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform plan to diversify the country’s economy and improve the quality of life.

The country also hosts other international sports such as Formula One and is behind high-profile golf and boxing promotions and there are also bigger events on the agenda.

Last August, sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal expressed an interest in the 2034 Asian Games as well as the Olympics.

With Agencies

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