CAIRO — Media outlets reported on Aug. 4 that Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Greece plan to submit a tripartite bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup.
The Egyptian government newspaper Akhbar Elyom reported on Aug. 4 that Egypt’s Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhi held a tripartite meeting with his Saudi and Greek counterparts to make the final arrangements for the bid after all three parties agreed to jointly host the most important global football event in the world.
According to the paper, Sobhi discussed with his Saudi counterpart, Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, many issues related to sports affairs and stressed that hosting the World Cup and the Olympics is everyone’s dream, including officials and sports fans in Egypt.
On Aug. 8, Sobhi told Egyptian Mega FM radio station that “Egypt is working on applying to host the World Cup and other sports tournaments in the future,” refusing to disclose any details in this regard and saying that such matters are confidential.
“The Egyptian state has the capabilities that qualify it to host the World Cup, but this issue still needs to be reviewed,” Sobhi added, stressing Egypt's recent success in organizing several international tournaments.
Over the past years, Egypt hosted several sports tournaments, including the Africa Cup of Nations in June 2019, the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in November 2019 and the World Men’s Handball Championship in January 2021, in addition to the African Men’s Handball Championship this past July.
Observers praised the capabilities of the three countries that qualify them to host the World Cup and organize a successful tournament.
Egyptian sports analyst Mohammed al-Jazzar told Al-Monitor, “I believe Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia could succeed in organizing the 2030 World Cup because the three countries have a strong infrastructure to host and organize the most important tournament in the world of football.”
He added, “The previous experiences of the three countries in hosting several continental and international tournaments give them a great opportunity to win the bid to host the 2030 World Cup.”
Jazzar stressed the need for the three countries to present a strong bid to FIFA to tip the scales in their favor against bids submitted by other countries.
The competition to host the 2030 World Cup will be fierce, as Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay submitted a joint bid in early August to host the event.
Spain and Portugal also launched their joint campaign to host the 2030 World Cup, while media outlets reported in mid-July that Morocco had settled on submitting a bid of its own to host the tournament.
Egyptian sports critic Hadi al-Madani told Al-Monitor, “Egypt has succeeded in recent years in hosting and organizing major international events in various sports. All that is left for it to do is to host the Olympics and the World Cup.”
He explained, “Egypt's bid to host the tournament along with other countries allows it to overcome the obstacles that do not meet all of FIFA’s conditions. For instance, most large-capacity stadiums are located in Cairo; thus, co-hosting the tournament will spare Egypt the full financial burdens of organizing the event in which 48 teams participate and that requires equipping stadiums with certain specifications that exceed the capabilities of all Egyptian stadiums available at present.”
Madani added, “Hosting the World Cup jointly between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Greece achieves the main goal of promoting each country, in addition to introducing the world to Egypt, its sports facilities and its infrastructure.”
Egypt has been working for years to develop sports facilities and establish new stadiums, including a sports city in the new administrative capital, with the aim to maximize the country’s organizational capabilities to host world championships, per the directives of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Egypt’s sports city will include everything related to team and individual sports, such as stadiums and covered halls, in addition to other service areas, medical centers and hotels, administrative buildings and waiting areas for the public.
Egyptian media also revealed on Aug. 4 that the Egyptian government is considering building a new stadium with international standards in the new city of El Alamein as part of its preparations to host the 2030 World Cup.