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Saudi Aramco signs up with Fifa as World Cup sponsor

Fifa president Gianni Infantino at the Club World Cup final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last December. The value of the deal with Saudi Aramco has not been disclosed Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Fifa president Gianni Infantino at the Club World Cup final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia last December. The value of the deal with Saudi Aramco has not been disclosed
  • Deal includes Women’s World Cup 2027
  • Partnership covers multiple events
  • Fifa relaxes stadium rule for 2034

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, has signed a four-year global partnership with international football association Fifa.

The energy giant will become Fifa’s major worldwide partner with sponsorship rights for multiple events, including the Fifa World Cup 26, co-hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico and the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2027.

The value of the deal, which will run until the end of 2027, was not disclosed.

Through this partnership with Fifa, Aramco aims to contribute to football development and harness the power of sport to make an impact around the globe, said CEO Amin Nasser.

This partnership will assist Fifa to deliver its flagship tournaments over the next four years and to provide enhanced support to its 211 member associations across the globe, president Gianni Infantino said. 

Aramco also plans to deploy its expertise and technologies in delivering football events globally. 

Saudi Arabia was set to be formally declared as the host of the 2034 Fifa World Cup after Australia decided not to apply in October 2023.

The kingdom had earlier explored the possibility of a joint bid with Egypt and Greece for the 2030 World Cup but shifted its focus to a lone bid for 2034 after securing the support of European countries and dozens of other countries. 

Fifa relaxed its rules for 2034 on the number of suitable stadiums that must already be in existence, reducing them from seven to four. 

Qatar, the first Arab country to host the tournament in 2022, used purpose-built air-conditioned stadiums but still had to request to stage it in the winter. 

In June the Saudi Public Investment Fund took 75 percent stakes in four teams – Al Ittihad, Al Hilal, Al Nassr and Al Ahli – amid a series of major football star transfers.  

Al Nassr signed Cristiano Ronaldo in December for a reported $200 million annually, making him the world’s highest-paid athlete.

Other signings include Karim Benzema from Real Madrid, N’Golo Kanté from Chelsea, Roberto Firmino from Liverpool, former Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard and Neymar from Paris St Germain

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