Greece will reportedly bid to host the 2030 soccer World Cup together with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, it emerged on Tuesday.
The governments of all three countries have apparently given the green light to push on with the application process for what would be the second winter staging of the World Cup after Qatar this year.
According to reports, most of the costs will be borne by the Saudis, with the majority of matches staged in their country.
The report suggested there will be four venues in Greece, namely the OPAP Arena, Karaiskakis Stadium, Nea Toumpa, and the Votanikos, a new stadium for Panathinaikos expected to be ready by 2026.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sent the joint nomination file to a company in the United States for “processing,” according to Greek website TO10.
Saudi Arabia the lead partner in the bid with Greece, Egypt for the World Cup
A recent report by The Times said 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.
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.