RIYADH: The president of the Asian Football Confederation has commended the professional and marketing advancements seen in the Saudi Pro League, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, who is also first deputy chairman of FIFA, praised the quality of the Kingdom’s football system and its backing by significant investment, hailing it as an “exemplary model” that “showcases Asian football at its best,” SPA added.
In a press statement, Sheikh Salman highlighted the promising future of professional football in Asia, saying: “We have always emphasized that the Asian continent possesses unique elements to achieve a qualitative shift that will amaze the world.”
He continued: “Asia's successful hosting of various global football events, including the recent 2022 World Cup in Qatar, coupled with the impressive progress of the Saudi Pro League in terms of investing in human capabilities, football infrastructure, and professional talent, demonstrates Asia's confident journey towards realizing its objectives.”
Sheikh Salman affirmed that the global attraction of the Saudi Pro League will be a major gain for Asian club competitions.
He also pointed out that the presence of internationally renowned players at Saudi clubs and playing in Asian competitions offered an artistic and marketing advantage that will profoundly impact various levels of the sport and media.
“The developmental vision of the Saudi Pro League is aligned with a comprehensive national vision, emphasizing sustainability, stability, and the increasing strength of its influence, investment, and marketing year after year,” he said. “These well-calculated and intelligent steps aim to position the Saudi Pro League among the elite global leagues.”
He added that the Saudi model would inspire national leagues across Asia, leading to notable institutional and professional advancements across the continent.
As part of the AFC role, Sheikh Salman highlighted the organization's commitment to providing support and assistance, taking necessary actions to contribute to the development of football in all aspects of the continent.