FIFA President

FIFA President discusses football development with Saudi Arabia sports authorities

FIFA President visits Saudi Arabia

FIFA President Gianni Infantino held fruitful discussions with Saudi Arabia’s football and sports leaders and has visited state-of-the-art facilities on a visit to Riyadh.

The FIFA President’s programme included a meeting with Sports Minister HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, where he was presented with the ambitious plans of the Saudi Arabian government to develop sports over the next decade. The leaders also discussed ways of cooperation between the two institutions to ensure football continues its progression and maintains its leading position in Saudi Arabia. The visit featured a tour of the new Mahd Sports Academy, a groundbreaking project launched in 2020 with the aim of identifying and developing local sports talent.

The FIFA President also held meetings with the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) leadership under President Yasser bin Hassan Al-Misehal, on a visit which also had a presentation of Saudi Arabia’s regional training centres, discussions with local international referees, a review of the domestic women’s football strategy, and a tour of the SAFF museum.

“I have been very positively impressed here in Riyadh to see the facilities of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation and I was impressed by the professionalism, by the passion and by the skills,” the FIFA President said. “I knew already that Saudi Arabia is a football country, and has football in its heart, but what I see here is a strategy and a vision, and I need to complement His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz (bin Turki Al-Faisal) and Saudi Arabian Football Federation President Yasser (bin Hassan Al-Misehal) and all the team who are doing a great work.

"The fruits of this work will be seen, I think, in the years to come. FIFA is proud and happy, not only to be here today, but to accompany this process, because we need the big countries [involved] and Saudi Arabia is definitely a big country.”

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