In 2017, the Asia’s premier national soccer competition, the Asian Cup, will be held in the Middle East for the third time in a row as Saudi Arabia embraces it.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) held its 33rd General Assembly in Manama, Bahrain on the 1st (local time) and selected Saudi Arabia as the host of the 2027 Men’s Asian Cup. Saudi Arabia has won the tournament three times, but this is the first time they are hosting it.
Iran and Uzbekistan give up… Asian Cup in Saudi Arabia
There are many opinions that Saudi Arabia’s decision to host the Asian Cup has become a ‘fisherman’s geography’ as rival countries dropped out midway. In fact, Iran and Uzbekistan, which competed to host this tournament, gave up midway, and Saudi Arabia entered the competition bloodlessly as India pulled out last December last year.
As a result, the Asian Cup will be held in the Middle East three times in a row, following UAE in 2019 and Qatar in 2023. China succeeded in hosting the 2023 tournament, but returned the right to host it due to the corona pandemic, and Korea also tried to attract it, but was pushed back by Qatar.
“We are delighted to host the greatest tournament in the history of the tournament,” Saudi Arabia’s Prince Abdullaziz bin Turki al-Faisal said after the announcement. 스포츠토토
Not only soccer, but also golf, racing, Asian Games… Oil money ‘heyday’
The counterattack of oil money is not limited to soccer. Middle Eastern countries are monopolizing global sports events such as golf and car racing. In particular, Saudi Arabia, which was chosen as the host country of the Asian Cup, is actively investing in and attracting various sports events unlike in the past.
First of all, Saudi Arabia led the launch of LIV golf against the existing PGA Tour by putting forward a sovereign wealth fund, and also hosted the world’s best car race, Formula One (F1) competition. In particular, it surprised soccer fans around the world by taking over Newcastle in the English Premier League and Al Nasr signing world-class soccer player Ronaldo in a super-large contract.
However, some view Saudi Arabia’s aggressive move in a negative light. This is why it is constantly being pointed out that it is ‘sports washing’ to cover up various human rights issues in Saudi Arabia or suspicions of the murder of journalists that occurred in 2018.
Meanwhile, it is known that Saudi Arabia will continue to promote hosting of large-scale global sports festivals such as the Asian Games and the World Cup.