2030 World Cup: Saudi Arabia and Italy considering unexpected joint bid

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The bidding process to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup is beginning to hot up as further nations throw their names into the hat.

England's potential bid suffered a massive blow at the Euro 2020 final as shameful fan trouble marred what should have been a celebration of football.

In the aftermath of that Wembley disaster, Spain and Portugal are emerging as favourites to land UEFA's backing for the 2030 global event but they may have to fend off some late competition.

That is because news has emerged today that Saudi Arabia are planning a bizarre joint-bid with current newly-crowned European champions, Italy.

Joint bids have proven to be very successful in the past, with the United States, Mexico and Canada set to host the event in 2026, but Saudi Arabia and Italy makes for an awfully strange team.

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(Enter Giveaway)

According to a report in The Athletic, US-based global consultancy firm Boston Consultancy Group are reportedly advising the Saudi Arabians on their bid, with some suggesting they team up with Egypt and Morocco.

However, that would require the latter two to make huge infrastructure developments while security could prove to a massive concern.

With that in mind, it seems that a European partner would make the most sense at this stage and Italy looks to be the perfect choice.

Italy have hosted four major football tournaments but have spent very little on their stadium infrastructure since the 1990 World Cup.

That is where the Saudi's could step in as they would be more than able to pour funds towards the improvement and upscaling of those famous footballing citadels in the country.

While the Saudi's have shown their capabilities to host major sporting events with ease over the last few years, their involvement in a  bid for the World Cup could spark mass controversy.

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They have been accused of using sports events as a way of 'sport-washing' their questionable human rights records and using swathes of cash to take attention from that.

However, as mentioned by The Athletic, as the biggest exporter of oil in the world, it's difficult to say no to Saudi's at times.

On paper, it a partnership that makes sense, the Saudi's love football, Italy is a true footballing mecca and it would venture into that whole 'emerging market' niche that FIFA love so much.

However, in reality, it seems a bizarre combination that could cause FIFA more headaches than anything else should they land the tournament.

The global governing body will have to tread incredibly carefully.

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