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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is set to become the “world football hub”;, Jan Alessi, co-founder and director of the World Football Summit Asia, said on Thursday.

This came during the soft launch of the second summit, which will be held in December, will gather the global football industry in Riyadh and is expected to attract over 1,500 delegates and stakeholders from across the football ecosystem.

Once the center of the world of football, the Kingdom will host key decision-makers from clubs, leagues, federations and sporting brands, all working together to shape the future of football.

Scheduled to coincide with the FIFA Club World Cup, WFS Asia will feature over 150 speakers, and over 100 media representatives are expected to attend, providing extensive coverage.

Over two action-packed days, attendees will have the opportunity to accelerate business growth through strategic networking and knowledge-sharing sessions.

The platform has reached an agreement with Saudi conglomerate Aljan & Bros Holding and its subsidiary SAT Entertainment to host the next five editions of the summit in Riyadh. The inaugural WFS Asia took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“Hosting an event like the World Football Summit in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia perfectly aligns with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030,” said Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Alajlan, deputy chairman of Azlan & Bros Holding.

“We strongly believe in the power of sport to unite people from all corners of the globe and create valuable business partnerships. The unmatched popularity of football has the potential to generate employment, boost corporate tourism and talent development for industry professionals Has the ability to create opportunities.

The decision to host WFS Asia in Saudi Arabia highlights the country’s growing prominence as a global sporting superpower. The Kingdom has already secured the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and attracted top talents such as Cristiano Ronaldo.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is a leading contender to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup. Along with football, the Kingdom has made significant progress in other sports including LIV, e-sports and other sports. The recent success of the Qatar World Cup has also helped highlight the potential of the wider sector in the global sports industry.

WFS Asia is supported by the Saudi Ministry of Sports, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, the Saudi Professional League and the Asian Football Confederation.

WFS Asia aims to foster growth and co-operation in the football industry, to establish the summit as an annual fixture on the global football calendar.

Since its inception in 2016, WFS has successfully attracted over 22,000 participants across 16 events and built a global community of over 80,000 sports industry executives on its platform.

The director of WFS visited Saudi Arabia for the first time, hoping that it would become his second home from now on. During the soft launch, he said: “Given Saudi Arabia’s aspiration to establish itself as a leading force in global sports, it made perfect sense for the World Football Summit to be an event held here, linking key regional football stakeholders with their international counterparts.”