Italy to face Saudi Arabia in friendly next month

Italian players react with dismay after failing to beat Sweden over the course of a two-legged World Cup play-off qualifier at the San Siro, in Milan, last November, and failing to qualify for Russia 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 19 April 2018
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Italy to face Saudi Arabia in friendly next month

  • Four-time World Cup champions Italy failed to qualify for this summer's tournament for the first time in six decades.
  • Saudi Arabia will face host Russia in the opening match of the World Cup on June 14.

ROME: Italy will play World Cup qualifiers Saudi Arabia in St. Gallen, Switzerland on May 28.
While four-time champions Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in six decades, Saudi Arabia will play in the tournament for the first time since 2006.
Saudi Arabia will face host Russia in the opening match of the World Cup on June 14.
The friendly at Kybunpark Stadium will mark the first time Italy face Saudi Arabia.
Italy then play France in Nice on June 1, and hosts the Netherlands in Turin three days later.


Saudi football chief quits, eyes Asia’s top job

Updated 18 August 2018
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Saudi football chief quits, eyes Asia’s top job

RIYADH: Saudi Football Federation chief Adel Ezzat resigned on Saturday, expressing his intention to run for the presidency of the Asian Football Confederation.
“I presented to (Saudi sports authority chief) Turki Al-Sheikh... my resignation from my position as of today,” Ezzat told a Saudi sports broadcaster.
“I will begin preparing... for elections of the Asian Football Confederation, which will be held next year.”
Ezzat’s deputy Nawaf Al-Timyat has been named the Saudi federation’s interim chief until fresh elections are held.
Ezzat was last week elected as the first president of the South West Asian Football Federation, a new regional bloc of federations comprising 14 nations.
The kingdom has long been a marginal player in football’s ruling classes, unlike its Gulf rival Qatar — set to host the 2022 World Cup — with which it is embroiled in a year-long diplomatic spat.
But the oil-rich kingdom is in the midst of a major push for global influence in football governance.