Saudi Arabia 2034: The world is forewarned, prepare for another winter World Cup!

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

With FIFA announcing Saudi Arabia as the sole candidate for the 2034 World Cup after the pulling out of Australia, another winter World Cup with the attendant disruption of international calendar is in the offing.

Noting how Qatar with relatively no football pedigree used the World Cup to announce their esteemed ‘presence’, Saudi Arabia has since picked the gauntlet, magnetising all known football icons to the kingdom.

Some analysts have tagged it as the use of sports for image laundering. Most international contests, including super cups of continental championships have found Saudi Arabia as a veritable destination.

No doubt, they have proved good hosts. Saudi has the resources to host important boxing bouts and any other sports that will attract international attention.

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The kingdom initially attempted to snatch the hosting of the Women’s World Cup 2023 from joint hosts, Australia and New Zealand before opting for that of 2035 after just recently forming a women’s national team for the first time last year.

It is almost a forgone conclusion that Saudi Arabia will get the nod for the 2034 World Cup. But there are repercussions.

Climatic factor will constrain the world to shift again from the traditional Northern hemisphere’s summer time to winter time World Cup .

The World Cup is traditionally held in June/July. But that time, temperatures rise up to 43C in Saudi Arabia. So, just as in Qatar 2022, a winter World Cup is in the offing.

The flagship domestic league, the English Premier League from where most of the World Cup players across different national teams, will again be forced into another disruption as it happened last season.

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So also will most other leagues of the World be affected. Tradition will again be thrown over board as the world welcomes the second winter World Cup in 12 years.

 

 

 

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