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Business of Sport

Sports business news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Esports gamer

Saudi Arabia launches e-sports world cup

Saudi Arabia has announced the launch of the E-sports World Cup, to be held annually in Riyadh from 2024.  The world cup is part of the kingdom’s National Gaming and E-sports Strategy, designed to increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP by more than SAR50 billion ($13.3 billion) by 2030, establish 250 game developers […]

Manchester United tumbles on Ratcliffe’s stake bid

Shares of Manchester United fell as much as 23 percent on Monday after reports that British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is looking to acquire only a 25 percent stake in the football club raised concerns that a buyout by Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al Thani could be off the table. The shares were last down […]

Qatar Manchester United

Qatari sheikh withdraws bid to buy Manchester United

Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani has withdrawn his interest in buying UK football club Manchester United, according to media reports. Sheikh Jassim, the son of a former prime minister of Qatar, had bid £5 billion ($6.06 billion) for the club, but further talks this week have broken down, BBC Sport reported. Reuters sources said that […]

Turkey's bid to co-host Euro 2032 is likely to involve Ataturk Olypmic Stadium

Turkey chosen as co-host for football’s Euro 2032

Turkey on Tuesday was awarded co-hosting rights for the Euro 2032 men’s soccer tournament in a decision that will provide a further boost to the country’s resurgent tourist industry and bring in much-needed additional foreign currency. Turkey had sought to host Euro 2028 or Euro 2032 in their entirety but in July launched a joint […]

Morocco reached the semi-finals of the Qatar World Cup last year, their best finish in the tournament

Morocco must now tackle cost of World Cup win

Winning the right to co-host the World Cup in 2030 will have Morocco walking an economic tightrope, experts say. Morocco will become only the second African nation to host the event, albeit alongside five other countries spread across three continents. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the World Cup, the 2030 edition will be […]

Fans at the Al Nassr vs Al Ahli Pro League match in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom was expected to bid for the 2030 Fifa World Cup but has switched its focus to 2034

Saudi Arabia reveals 2034 football World Cup bid

Saudi Arabia has officially thrown its hat into the ring to become the host nation of the 2034 Fifa World Cup. It had been thought the kingdom was going to launch a joint bid with Greece and Egypt to co-host the 2030 tournament, but these rumours proved to be unfounded. The 2030 event, a celebration […]

Official World Golf Ranking rejected LIV Golf's application for ranking points, citing concerns about the circuit’s format

Talks with PIF and DP World progressing says PGA Tour

PGA Tour said its planned merger with Saudi-backed LIV Golf and DP World Tour has garnered unsolicited interest from investors as it continues to finalise an agreement with the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the DP World Tour. The PGA said that while it did not solicit additional investment interest, it has a […]

Former MLB star Hanley Ramirez is one of the investors in Baseball United

Baseball stars line up to invest in Dubai league

Baseball United, the first professional baseball league focused on the Middle East and Indian subcontinent, has amassed a roster of investors before the Dubai league’s launch in November. Between them the investors boast a combined 222 Major League Baseball (MLB) seasons, 70 All-Star games and 14 World Series Championships. The line-up of former MLB stars […]

PFL fighters in action in New York. PFL Middle East organisers hope to attract more investment from the region

Saudi-backed martial arts league aims for $1bn business

The Middle East arm of the Professional Fighters League will be a billion-dollar entity within the next decade, according to its founder. Mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation PFL Middle East is set to launch in the second quarter of 2024, spurred by a reported $100 million cash injection from Saudi Arabia’s SRJ Sports Investments. It […]

Moshiri Everton

British-Iranian businessman sells stake in Everton FC

British-Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri has sold his stake in English Premier League club Everton to Miami investment fund 777 Partners. It has signed a deal to acquire the former accountant’s 94 percent of the club’s shares. Monaco-based Moshiri invested in Everton in 2016 before taking a majority stake two years later. However, his time in […]

Qatar Tourism bedouin camp

Qatar exceeds 2022 tourism figures in just eight months

The number of tourists in Qatar this year has exceeded the figure for the whole of 2022, with officials saying that hosting the Fifa World Cup has put the Gulf state on the map. Qatar Tourism data revealed that the country has welcomed more than 2.5 million visitors as of the last week in August. […]

A match between Abdullah al Qahtani and David Zelner in MMA league PFL, which Saudi Arabia has invested in

Saudi Arabia pins down $100m MMA investment

Saudi Arabia’s SRJ Sports Investments has acquired a minority stake in mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation the Professional Fighters League, reported to be worth $100 million. Founded in 2018, the PFL is second behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in terms of its global popularity. PFL Mena will begin in 2024 having launched in Europe […]

Saudi Pro League footbal - Al-Feiha's Mohammed Al Baqawi in action with Al-Hilal's Michael

Saudi football sells TV rights in hope of net profit

Saudi Arabia’s professional football league has sold broadcast rights to 12 networks across 130 countries for coverage of the 2023-24 season, following a spending spree on players that has captured global attention.  But wary of previous experience with China, broadcasters will be following closely to see if a global appetite exists for Saudi Arabia.  “The […]

Qatar Padel

Qatar buys rival padel tour after legal wrangling

State-owned Qatar Sports Investments has agreed to buy the World Padel Tour and will launch a unified global circuit for the fast-growing racquet sport next year. QSI created a breakaway padel competition in early 2022, and the Qatari takeover of the sport mirrors Saudi Arabia’s controversial multimillion-dollar entry into men’s professional golf. Padel uses the […]

Ronaldo Al Nassr

Saudi millions ‘creating two-tier system’ for football agents

Saudi Arabia’s football investment spree is tempting top-flight players to its teams, but is also creating a two-tier system among agents, industry observers have warned. Brazilian superstar Neymar’s arrival in Saudi Arabia this week boosted the coffers of his former employer Paris Saint Germain to the tune of a reported $110 million. The latest big-money […]