RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is ready to become “the world football hub,” said Jan Alessie, co-founder and director of World Football Summit Asia on Thursday.
This came during the soft launch of the second summit, which will be held in December, gathering the global football industry in Riyadh and expecting over 1,500 representatives and stakeholders from the football ecosystem.
Becoming the epicenter of the football world, the Kingdom will host key decision-makers from clubs, leagues, federations, and brands associated with the sport, all working together to shape the future of football.
Scheduled to coincide with the FIFA Club World Cup, the WFS Asia will feature over 150 speakers, and more than 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 events subsidiary SAT Entertainment to host the next five editions of the summit in Riyadh. The inaugural WFS Asia took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“Bringing an event like the World Football Summit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia perfectly aligns with the objectives of Saudi Vision 2030,” said Mohamed bin Abdulaziz Alajlan, deputy chairman of Ajlan & Bros Holding.
“We firmly believe in the power of sport to unite people from all corners of the globe and forge valuable commercial partnerships. Football’s unrivalled popularity has the potential to generate employment, boost corporate tourism, and create talent development opportunities for industry professionals.”
The decision to host WFS Asia in Saudi Arabia highlights the country’s growing prominence as a global sports powerhouse. The Kingdom has already secured the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and has attracted top talent such as Cristiano Ronaldo.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia is a major contender for hosting the 2030 FIFA World Cup. Alongside football, the Kingdom has made significant strides in other sports, including LIV, e-sports, and more. The recent success of the Qatar World Cup has also helped shine a light on the broader region’s potential in the global sports industry.
WFS Asia is garnering the support of 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 collaboration in the football industry with the mission 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 attendees across 16 events and has built a global community of over 80,000 sports industry executives throughout its platforms.
WFS director visited Saudi Arabia for the first time ever, hoping it will 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 World Football Summit to organize an event here, connecting key regional football stakeholders with their international counterparts.”