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Saudi Arabia set to host 2034 FIFA World Cup after Australia withdraws



Saudi Arabia has all but sealed the hosting rights for the 2034 FIFA World Cup after Australia pulled out of the race hours before the FIFA deadline today.

The Middle East giants threw their hat in the ring soon after the world football governing body announced that the 2034 edition can only be held in Asia or Oceania.

The Gulf nation soon gathered plenty of support, including the backing of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, as Australia emerged as the only challenger.

But the co-hosts of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup decided against it and instead will concentrate on the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and the 2029 Club World Cup.

“We have explored the opportunity to bid to host the FIFA World Cup and – having taken all factors into consideration – we have reached the conclusion not to do so for the 2034 competition,” a statement from Football Australia read.

“Instead, we believe we are in a strong position to host the oldest women’s international competition in the world, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup™ 2026, and then welcome the greatest teams in world football for the 2029 FIFA Club World Cup.

“Achieving this – following the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ and with the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games – would represent a truly golden decade for Australian football.

“For international tournament hosting, the Australian time zones provide significant opportunities for broadcasters, and we are within touching distance of billions of people in Asia and Oceania, which also helps to provide a strong commercial outlook for competitions.”

Australia had hopes previously when Indonesia announced its intention of a joint bid only to do a U-tun a week later and back the Saudis.

If Saudi Arabia win, it will be the second Gulf country to host the World Cup in a span of 12 years after fierce rivals Qatar staged the event last year.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his regime has been criticised by the international community for sportswashing to cover up for the accusations of human rights violations.

Homosexuality is a crime in the country, while the nation has been under fire for its record on women’s rights, free speech, and its role in war in Yemen since 2015.

Bin Salman was also allegedly behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident journalist, who was was killed by agents of the Riyadh Government at its consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

The 38-year-old has vowed that Saudi Arabia will continue to sportswash if it helps to increase the nation’s gross domestic product.

Infantino was recently pictured along with bin Salman during the launch of mega prize money annual Esports World Cup, an industry that the country has invested heavily in.
Jeddah has already been chosen to host this year’s men’s FIFA Club World Cup, and a bid from the country for the 2035 FIFA Women’s World Cup has been mooted.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup will be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada – the first hosted by three countries.

Spain, Portugal, and Morocco will almost certainly host the centennial FIFA World Cup in 2030, requiring just the formalities of a successful bidding process and ratification by next year’s FIFA Congress.

Plans for special one-off matches in Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay are also in place.

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Marketing & Sponsorship

MTN Vows More Support For Nigeria’s Super Falcons




Official telecoms partner of the Nigeria Football Federation, MTN has pledged to keep supporting and appreciating the senior women national team, Super Falcons as the fabulous ladies continue to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians.

At a reception in honour of the nine-time African champions, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja on Thursday night, Adia Sowho, who is the telecom behemoth’s chief marketing officer, hailed the team for its consistency and sterling on-field and off-field attributes, saying they do so much to bring honour to Nigeria every now and then.

Sowho regaled the auditorium with the various feats of the elegant Falcons, and stated that MTN remains proud of its identity with the team. She challenged them to keep winning and soaring, assuring that MTN will be with them all the way.

Sports Development Minister, Senator John Owan Enoh noted that the Falcons have been giving Nigerians joy and urged MTN to continue to support the team as it undertakes greater tasks and seeks to climb higher hurdles.

President of NFF, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, described MTN as “one of our biggest partners” and praised the company for its consistency in support of football. “The Super Falcons are the most successful national team and they deserve all the accolades. In their last two matches, they have scored nine goals to put smiles on the faces of Nigerians. I believe they will go to Cape Verde and finish the job brilliantly, and we also have confidence in them to earn the Olympic ticket this time, after our country missed the last three Women Olympic Football Tournaments.

“Last year, they could not even make the podium at the Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. But they put that adversity behind them and rose to impress the world at the FIFA World Cup. I believe they are ready for the challenge of reclaiming the African title in the same North African country next year.”

NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi thanked MTN for its support for various levels of football, and assured that the Super Falcons have the mettle to overcome upcoming on-field challenges and perhaps dazzle better at the Olympics in Paris than they did at the World Cup in Down Under.

The company afterwards presented gifts to the players and their officials.

MTN’s team also included Ifueko Omoigui-Okauru (Director); Idowu Adesokan (GM, Consumer Marketing); Osaze Ebuaku (Senior Manager, Go-t-Market) and Anas Galadima (Senior Manager, Public Affairs).

Also in NFF’s team were Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Chairman, Marketing Committee); Babatunde Akinsanya (Director of Finance); Ademola Olajire (Director of Communications); Ruth David (Ag. Director of Competitions); Dayo Enebi Achor (Head of International) and; Alizor Chuks (Head of Marketing and Sponsorship).

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Norwich City FC announce Dino’s Famous as official club partner




The English football club, Norwich City FC have announced a partnership with the American Street food chain, Dino’s Famous.

As per the arrangement, Dino’s Famous has been named the official club partner of the Canaries.

The deal between the two entities will allow the American brand to serve its special Brooklyn Big Dogs at the club’s home turf, Carrow Road Stadium during every matchday.

Dino’s stacker pickles, crispy fried onions, classic American mustard, and Brooklyn Burner ketchup will be served with the hotdogs in the “Dress the Dog” version.

Mat Potter, Managing Director at Dino’s Famous, commented, “I believe fans deserve the best hot dog experience when supporting their football club and this partnership means that Norwich fans can try our award-winning Brooklyn Big Dog within Carrow Road. I am looking forward to working with Norwich City to help find more ways to enhance the stadium experience for fans.”

Ed Turnham, Norwich City’s Head of Sales and Acquisitions, commented, “Dino’s Famous already supply to a number of venues across the UK, however they are only partnered with a handful of sporting clubs. It’s therefore a privilege that the brand has chosen to partner with Norwich City. The Dino’s Famous Big and Little Dogs can be found at retailers ranging from Waitrose, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, so it’s also exciting that our supporters can now purchase a fully loaded dog at Carrow Road for the next three seasons.”

Sean Crisford, Stadium Bars and Kiosks Manager at Norwich City, said, “We are delighted to be working with Dino’s Famous. Their Brooklyn-inspired hot dogs are made from high quality ingredients and they are industry leading products. By bringing Dino’s to Carrow Road, it allows us to serve high quality products from our kiosks to enhance the Carrow Road fan experience.”

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Bundesliga International, CFA launch “Bundesliga Dream” to prosper Chinese rising football talents




The Bundesliga International has signed a partnership with the Chinese governing body for football, the Chinese Football Association (CFA).

Following the deal, both entities have launched “Bundesliga Dream” which will help to prosper rising football talents in China.

Through this agreement, the talented Chinese players from the U16 national team will have the chance to practice at the development academies of many Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs, as well as play against youth teams from throughout Germany, during this event, which is scheduled for February–March 2024.

Together with the Bundesliga and the participating clubs, the CFA has developed a unique training regimen that all players will follow. The training highlights several critical in-game scenarios, such as transitioning from attack to defensive.

Peer Naubert, Bundesliga International Chief Marketing Officer, said, “For almost 30 years, the Bundesliga has been a part of Chinese football culture: it was one of the first European leagues to be broadcast in China, and over the years it has welcomed some of China’s greatest players. With the launch of Bundesliga Dream China, we are offering players a chance to experience the best of German youth development, and hopefully creating a long-term pathway that could lead to more Chinese players succeeding in Germany.”

Song Kai, President of the CFA, stated, “With the German system at the forefront of youth development, the Bundesliga Dream project is anticipated to provide our young players and coaches with abundant opportunities for international exchange and learning.

He also added, “Achieving success is a gradual journey, necessitating perseverance and dedication from the professionals in the youth football sector. Their patient and resolute efforts are pivotal in contributing to the development of football in China, ensuring a stable and substantial growth trajectory for the sport.”

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