Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Greece are poised to launch a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup, The Times of London has reported.
The British newspaper says that an announcement is imminent and follows talks at senior government levels.
As with the World Cup in Qatar this year, if the bid is successful, the tournament would have to be played in the winter to avoid the extreme temperatures of June and July.
Saudi Arabia is the lead partner in the 2030 World Cup bid
The Times says that Saudi Arabia would be the lead partner and would pay for or at least contribute to the other two countries’ infrastructure costs. Since 2017, Saudi Arabia has embarked on a huge program to bring sports events to the oil-rich Gulf state.
According to The Times, the bid is expected to be announced in the next few weeks. It would be a serious challenge to the UEFA-backed joint bid by Spain and Portugal, as it involves three confederations and would, therefore, potentially draw support from Asia and Africa as well as potentially certain European countries.
Another winter World Cup so soon after Qatar would be opposed by the major European leagues that are having their season interrupted for more than a month by the Qatar tournament which kicks off on November 20th.
South America is also bidding
South America is also bidding for the 2030 World Cup to be held in four countries and wants it to commemorate the centenary of the first World Cup that was played in Uruguay in 1930.
FIFA has declined to comment, but the world governing body’s president, Gianni Infantino, has held meetings with key leaders and officials from those countries in recent weeks. FIFA insiders insist the FIFA president would not support any particular bid but has always said the more bids the better.
Infantino has close ties to Mohammed Bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, The Times has reported.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be jointly hosted by sixteen cities in three North American countries: Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
Sixty matches, including every match from the quarterfinals onward, will be hosted by the United States while neighboring Canada and Mexico will each host ten matches. The tournament will be the first hosted by three nations.