JEDDAH: The two stadia in Jeddah set to host matches at the FIFA Club World Cup are ready, an official at the Saudi Ministry of Sport said on Thursday.
The competition will be held in the city from Dec. 12 to 22 at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium and the Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sports City venue.
Thamer Basunbul, deputy minister for sports facilities at the ministry, told the media that preparations at the two grounds had been completed.
He said: “Both stadiums have been renovated to FIFA standards and we can say with confidence that we have delivered on our promise of two world-class stadiums.
“The renovation includes removing the running track, expanding media centers, expanding the entrance for players, and adding a new lower tier. In addition, new LED lighting and screens have been installed around the front edge of the roof for spectators to have an immersive digital experience.”
He said plans were also in place to renovate existing stadia and build new ones for the 2034 FIFA World Cup should the Saudi Arabia bid be successful.
He added: “Stadia will also be leveraged long after the competition, in line with the nation’s Vision 2030, by improving the venues’ usability for both other sports and non-athletic events. This will reinforce the stadiums’ central position within their communities.”
Meanwhile, the Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Affairs at the Saudi Football Federation Majed Al-Sahib has confirmed that 90 percent of tickets for the tournament have been sold.
He added there had been 1.5 million applications for tickets from 100 countries, including fans from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Brazil, India, and England.
Al-Sahib said: “The fan zone at King Abdullah Sports City can accommodate more than 12,500 people, while the fan zone at Prince Abdullah Al-Faisal Sports City can hold 6,500.
“We are targeting an attendance of 2 million fans and, therefore, the fan ticket system has been updated and the number of electronic gates has been increased, which has reached a total of more than 200 gates in the two stadiums.”