AFC show host Saudi Arabia fillip to venues



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Saudi Arabia new stadium in Dammam and new Riyadh Stadium and Qiddiya Stadium Image: Saudi2027 (Twitter)

Saudi Arabia is set to build three new stadiums and give a major overhaul to four others ahead of hosting the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, says the Kingdom’s football federation.

‘ArabianBusiness’ stated that the stadium building projects were announced by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) as it was revealed the Kingdom would host Asia’s premier international football tournament.

The 2027 AFC Asian Cup will be the 19th edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Asia organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The tournament involves 24 national teams after the expansion in 2019. It will be held in Saudi Arabia.

Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football, beach football and futsal in some countries/territories in Asia and Oceania. It has 47 member-countries most of which are located in Asia. Australia, formerly in the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC), joined the AFC in 2006.

Riyadh (Saudi Arabia)-based the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) is the football governing body of Saudi Arabia. Founded in 1956, its responsibilities include administration of club competitions and national teams. The founder of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation is Prince Abdullah bin Faisal Al Saud.

‘ArabianBusiness’ further stated that in messages on social media the SAFF gave a first look at the upcoming Riyadh Stadium, Qiddiya Stadium and Dammam Stadium.
 

Saudi Arabia Stadia

The SAFF said the Riyadh Stadium would be built near to a Metro Station.

The Dammam Stadium is designed to fit into the “region’s environment, enhance the fan experience and achieve aesthetic satisfaction”.

As well as building the Qiddiya Stadium, described as one of the masterpieces of the Asian Cup in 2027, renovations are also planned for the existing stadia in Saudi Arabia – the 68,752-capacity King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, the 22,188 (to be expanded to 44,500) Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, the 15,000-capacity Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium in Dammam, and the 26,000-capacity Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

The Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd Stadium will see its athletics track removed and capacity increased to 30,000, while the Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium will be completely overhauled and the capacity will rise to 22,000.

The tournament will be staged in three Cities and matches played at 10 stadiums.

The AFC confirmed the Asian Cup 2027 hosting decision at an event held in Bahrain on February 1st, 2023.

In his address to the 33rd AFC congress, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, the AFC President, said, “Let me congratulate the Saudi Arabian Football Federation for being selected as the hosts for the AFC Asian Cup 2027. This will be the first time the tournament will be staged in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and we look forward to working closely with the SAFF and the Saudi Arabian Government to deliver a memorable AFC Asian Cup for our fans and players in 2027.”

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sport and Chairman of the Olympic and Paralympic Committee, who led the presentation to the AFC Congress, stated, “It is an honor to have been chosen as hosts for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 and this is a historic and exciting moment for football in Saudi Arabia. We believe the best days of Asian football are yet to come and we see this tournament as an opportunity to showcase all that’s great about the game here. Our experience in hosting major sporting and entertainment events means that we are ready to deliver and ready to warmly welcome fans from across Asia and around the world. This will be an incredible AFC Asian Cup, made even more special by the passion of the Saudi fans. I would like to thank the AFC and all the member-associations that have been involved in this process.”

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has also submitted a bid to host the Women’s Asian Cup in 2026.

The Women’s Asian Cup is a quadrennial international women’s football tournament in Asia competed by the national teams of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

The President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, Yasser Al-Misehal, was among the six Asian soccer officials elected by the AFC members to represent them on FIFA’s decision-making Council through 2027.

The President of Qatar Football Association, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani, whose country hosts the Asian Cup next January, also was elected to a FIFA position for the first time.
 

Qiddiya Stadium

Although located some 22 km away, the new 40,000-capacity Qiddiya Stadium is included as one of Riyadh’s venues. Part of the vast Qiddiya scheme currently being developed, organizers say it will be one of the “masterpieces” that Saudi 2027 will provide to Asia.

Saudi Arabia’s Qiddiya, a Public Investment Fund project, is set to become the capital of Entertainment, Sports and Arts. It will be a disruptive destination that offers innovative, immersive and unparalleled experiences, all integrated on a scale never seen before.

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