Amnesty International has stated that if FIFA accurately implements its human rights standards to any bid it makes, hosting the 2030 men’s World Cup in Saudi Arabia would be “nearly impossible.”
The Middle Eastern nation, which has received harsh criticism for its record on human rights, reportedly wants to host the centenary finals with Egypt and Greece.
According to rumors, a bid to host the finals, which would take place in the winter like this year’s upcoming tournament in Qatar, is being taken into consideration.
It would be Saudi Arabia’s biggest sporting risk yet.
This comes after the nation’s Public Investment Fund last year purchased a majority stake in Newcastle United and the holding of Formula One races and high-profile boxing matches.
Amnesty says that FIFA must strictly implement human rights standards while evaluating any potential Saudi Arabia bid.
It was stated that this would be done in an effort to avoid the “error” that the FIFA executive committee allegedly made in 2010 when it awarded Russia and Qatar, respectively, the 2018 and 2022 finals.
“After the purchase of Newcastle United, the staging of the Anthony Joshua fights, and the hugely controversial LIV golf venture, it feels almost inevitable that Saudi Arabia will also seek to host the 2030 World Cup.
”This will be as a sort of crowning glory to its sports washing operations,” Felix Jakens, Amnesty UK’s individuals at risk campaigns manager said in a statement released.
“Under Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi sports washing has gone into overdrive at the very time that human rights have deteriorated alarmingly.
“If Saudi Arabia becomes an official bidder for the 2030 World Cup, FIFA should avoid the mistakes it made with Qatar and Russia.
”It should ensure there’s a rigorous assessment of human rights risks in awarding the tournament to Riyadh.
“As things stand, it’s virtually impossible to see how FIFA can square Saudi Arabia’s appalling human rights with its own principles and responsibilities on human rights.”