JEDDAH: All roads lead to Jeddah as the city gets ready to host key decision-makers from clubs, leagues, federations, and brands associated with the global sport of football.
World Football Summit Asia (WFS Asia) will see all parties working together to shape the future of the beautiful game, in the first-ever football industry event to be held in Saudi Arabia.
Adwa Al-Arifi, assistant minister of Sports Affairs for Saudi Arabia, is set to inaugurate WFS Asia on December 12-13, along with Datuk Seri Windsor Paul John, general secretary at the Asian Football Confederation, setting the tone for a summit that aims to foster international cooperation and growth within the sport.
Scheduled with the backdrop of the FIFA Club World Cup, the second edition of the Asian edition of WFS will bring together over 1,000 representatives and stakeholders from the football ecosystem. The event will feature 130+ speakers, with 70% of attendees being decision-makers from leading football properties and sports businesses across more than 70 countries.
Notable speakers who will participate in the event include Prof. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and co-founder of Yunus Sports Hub, Lamia Bahaian, vice president of SAFF, Tony Douglas, CEO of Riyadh Air, Miguel Angel Gil Marin, CEO of Atletico Madrid, Hammad Albalawi, Saudi Arabia 2034 FIFA World Cup bid team member, and football legends like Pavel Nedved, Francesco Totti and Eric Abidal.
World Football Summit, as it has done with previous editions of the summit in other regions of the world, aims to bring together key stakeholders to foster growth and collaboration in the football industry with the mission of establishing the summit as an annual fixture on the global sports business calendar.
The event promises to be a unique gathering of the main stakeholders in the industry, as it will bring together brands like Aramco, Riyadh Air, Snapchat, 433, Radisson, institutions like FIFA, SAFF, Saudi Pro League, Serie A, LALIGA, Bundesliga, FIFPRO, and clubs like Al-Nassr, Chelsea, Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen, and Atletico Madrid.
Hosting WFS Asia aligns with Saudi Arabia’s strategic vision to enhance its presence on the global sports stage. The event underlines the Kingdom’s dedication to fostering a rich sporting culture and its capacity to host major international events, having already secured the 2027 AFC Asian Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, attracting talents such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Benzema. Moreover, Saudi Arabia will host 2034 Men’s FIFA World Cup.
As a result of these efforts, attendance at football matches in the country has risen 150% since the Portuguese legend joined Al-Nassr. From a business perspective, the ambition is high as the Roshn Saudi League aims to increase its market value from its current $800 million to $2.1 billion by 2030.
WFS Asia will include the participation of representatives from the Saudi Ministry of Sports, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF), the Saudi Professional League, and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
"We are truly honored to kick off WFS in Saudi Arabia by welcoming Adwa Al-Arifi and Datuk Seri Windsor Paul John for our inauguration,” said Jan Alessie, co-founder and director of World Football Summit.
“We are extremely proud of being able to host this edition in Saudi Arabia, and the commitment of the country to make this a landmark event for the global football industry is made tangible by the active participation of its main football and sport governing bodies. After having worked on this project for many months, we are convinced this will be the first of many editions in the country.”
Those interested in attending the event can visit here for more information.