Saudi Arabia has presented to FIFA an official letter of intent to host the 2034 World Cup.
The Kingdom first announced its intentions to host the storied competition after it was announced by the sport’s governing body that only bidders from Asia or Oceania would be considered for 2034.
In the same announcement, FIFA president Gianni Infantino revealed the host of the 2030 centenary iteration of the competition, and the decision to split hosting duties between six different countries.
But Mail Sport reported that the state’s bid was all but a ‘done deal’, with the nation moving at pace to secure football’s marquee competition.
“Last week we announced our ambitions to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup, and this official submission continues our journey to make the dreams of our people a reality,” Yasser Al Misehal, president of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) said in a statement.
‘We are extremely committed to presenting the most competitive bid possible that will also help unite the world through football.’
FIFA are looking to move quickly in deciding the 2034 host: formal interest must be expressed by October 31, and a signed bidding agreement must be tabled by November 30.
FIFA members will then have the opportunity to rubber-stamp the 2030 and 2034 hosts in late 2024.
The federation claims that ‘over 70 FIFA Member Associations from across different continents have publicly pledged their support for the Kingdom.’
Saudi Arabia’s bid received the backing over the weekend of Sheikh Salman of Bahrain, the president of the Asian Football Confederation, who said that ‘the entire Asian football family will stand united in support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s momentous initiative’.