King’s Cup fixtures announced for next Saudi football season

King’s Cup fixtures announced for next Saudi football season
(SAFF)
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Updated 12 June 2024
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King’s Cup fixtures announced for next Saudi football season

King’s Cup fixtures announced for next Saudi football season
  • Al-Nassr will play Al-Hazem, Al-Ahli welcome Al-Jandal
  • Al-Ittihad at home to Al-Ain, Ettifaq will take on Al-Adalah

RIYADH: Holders Al-Hilal-will begin their defense of the King’s Cup in Qassim province against first division side Al-Bukiryah, the Saudi Football Federation announced, posting the 2024/25 fixture list for the prestigious cup competition on Wednesday.

This year’s finalist Al-Nassr will also travel to Qassim to take on Al-Hazem as Cristiano Ronaldo and company try to end a long King’s Cup drought.

Ronaldo, who broke the all-time league scoring record this season, was in tears last month as Riyadh rivals Al-Hilal lifted the trophy after winning on penalties in a dramatic game in Jeddah.

Start-studded Al-Ittihad, who were finalist this year, will have a home opener against first division side Al-Ain.

Fellow Jeddah giants Al-Ahli will invite Al-Jandal to the Red Sea city to begin their cup ambitions.  

Steven Gerrard-managed Ettifaq will take on Al-Adalah in an Eastern Province derby, in a bid to bring home the trophy to Dammam for a third time.  

Kick-off times and venues are yet to be announced.

The King’s Cup, founded in 1957, is the premier club cup competition in Saudi Arabia. Al-Ahli has won the trophy 13 times, the most of any club in the Kingdom, but Al-Hilal with victories this year and last have managed to close the gap with 11 cups.  


FULL LIST OF FIXTURES:

Ettifaq vs. Al-Adalah
Al-Qadsiah vs. Al-Orobah
Al-Okhdood vs. Al-Arabi
Al-Wehda vs. Al-Faisaly
Al-Ahli vs. Al-Jandal
Abha vs. Al-Taawoun
Al-Hazem vs. Al-Nassr
Al-Fayha vs. Al-Batin
Al-Ittihad vs. Al-Ain
Al-Tai vs. Al-Khaleej
Al-Bukiryah vs. Al-Hilal
Al-Kholood vs. Al-Shabab
Al-Jabalin vs. Al-Fateh
Jeddah vs. Al-Raed
Al-Najmah vs. Damac
Al-Safa vs. Al-Riyadh


Riyadh to host African Super Cup between Egyptian rivals Al Ahly, Zamalek

Riyadh to host African Super Cup between Egyptian rivals Al Ahly, Zamalek
Updated 13 July 2024
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Riyadh to host African Super Cup between Egyptian rivals Al Ahly, Zamalek

Riyadh to host African Super Cup between Egyptian rivals Al Ahly, Zamalek

RIYADH: Riyadh will host the CAF Super Cup between two of Africa’s top teams in September, organizers announced on Friday.

The head-to-head will see the current African Champion League holders Al Ahly take on fellow Egyptian side Zamalek, who are the current African Confederation champions.

Confédération Africaine de Football President Patrice  Motsepe said: “The partnership between CAF and Saudi Arabia is based on the excellent relationship and mutual commitment of both parties.”

Turki Alalshikh said: "We are delighted to host the African Super Cup at Riyadh Season, which represents one of the most important tournaments on the African continent.”

The match will take place on Sept. 27, but the venue and kick-off time are yet to be announced.

Both teams clashed in the Egypt Cup in the Saudi capital in March, with Al Ahly beating their city rivals 2-0 and winning the trophy for the 39th time.

Al Ahly finished third in the Saudi-hosted FIFA Club World Cup in December, with English champions Manchester City defeating Brazil’s Fluminense in the final.


SPL outlines priorities for player acquisitions, club development before new season

SPL outlines priorities for player acquisitions, club development before new season
Updated 11 July 2024
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SPL outlines priorities for player acquisitions, club development before new season

SPL outlines priorities for player acquisitions, club development before new season
  • League remains committed to providing a supportive, centralized approach to transfers
  • Clubs continue to attract top-tier talents to their administrative ranks

RIYADH: The Saudi Pro League, in collaboration with all 18 clubs, announced on Thursday its comprehensive preparations and key priorities for the upcoming summer transfer window and the 2024-25 season.
As part of the Player Acquisition Center of Excellence program, which was launched in 2023, the SPL held meetings with all top-flight clubs in the final months of last season to understand more fully their targets and requirements. The program was launched as one of seven in the SPL’s transformation strategy.
The SPL remains committed to providing a supportive and centralized approach to transfers. This includes assisting clubs with squad mapping and player care by offering expertise, governance, and sustainability measures.
The SPL’s priorities for the season and transfer window include supporting existing contracts by prioritizing current deals to ensure the success of players by providing the necessary resources.
Other aims include strategic acquisitions to address clubs’ technical gaps and secure top talent.
Another priority is its sustainability policy, which is to ensure players are signed for technical needs, supported for success, and fairly valued.
Off the pitch, the SPL clubs continue to attract top-tier talents to their administrative ranks.
Al-Shabab recently appointed Domenico Teti as sporting director, while Al-Nassr appointed Fernando Hierro. Both sporting directors join Esteve Calzada, Al-Hilal’s CEO; Ron Gourlay, Al-Ahli’s CEO; Lee Congerton, Al-Ahli’s sporting director; Ramon Planes, Al-Ittihad’s sporting director; and James Bisgrove, Al-Qadsiah’s CEO, as new appointments ahead of the new season.
In addition, the SPL has conducted a series of workshops with partner leagues in Europe and Asia to further develop areas of cooperation and mutual benefit. Discussions have covered topics such as mutual promotion, broadcast development, and alignment on transfer window dates.
The Player Acquisition Center of Excellence program, according to the SPL, serves as a collaborative tool with clubs to enhance their acquisition capabilities.
The program has so far recruited 97 players and reviewed over 200 contracts, significantly reducing contract termination costs and lowering the average age of signed players from 29 to 27.5 years. The ultimate aim is to focus on signing players under the age of 21.


Saudi national team beats UAE to win Arab Diar Championship

Saudi national team beats UAE to win Arab Diar Championship
Updated 06 July 2024
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Saudi national team beats UAE to win Arab Diar Championship

Saudi national team beats UAE to win Arab Diar Championship
  • The Saudi team qualified for the final match after beating their Syrian counterpart 2-0

TAIF, Saudi Arabia: The Saudi national team won the Arab Diar Championship for West Asian U-19 teams, after defeating UAE 1-0 at the King Fahd Sports City Stadium in Taif Governorate on Friday night.
The team qualified for the final match after beating their Syrian counterpart 2-0, state news agency SPA reported.
Talal Haji scored the winning goal in the 43rd minute of the first half, bringing victory and gold medals to the team.

The UAE came in second and was awarded silver medals.


Saudi national football team to face UAE at West Asian Youth Championship final

Saudi national football team to face UAE at West Asian Youth Championship final
Updated 04 July 2024
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Saudi national football team to face UAE at West Asian Youth Championship final

Saudi national football team to face UAE at West Asian Youth Championship final

RIYADH: The Saudi national football team has qualified for the final match of the Arab Diar Championship for West Asian U-19 teams, organized by the West Asian Football Federation and hosted by the Taif Governorate, Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA reported on Thursday.

The semifinal matches were held on Wednesday, where the Saudi national team defeated its Syrian opposition with a score of 2-0, while the UAE defeated Jordan 2-1.

The final match is scheduled to be held next Friday at the King Fahd Sports City Stadium in the Taif Governorate at 9 p.m.


Saudi Arabia announces six additional sports clubs for privatization

Saudi Arabia announces six additional sports clubs for privatization
Updated 04 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia announces six additional sports clubs for privatization

Saudi Arabia announces six additional sports clubs for privatization
  • Six additional clubs are now available for privatization starting in August
  • An additional eight clubs will all also be up for privatization at a later stage

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Sport has launched the latest phase of the Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project to privatize 14 more clubs.

Initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last June, the project, rolled out in collaboration with the National Privatization Center, aims to accelerate the sports industry in the Kingdom by inviting business sector involvement with clubs.

Six additional clubs are now available for privatization starting in August: Al-Zulfi, Al-Nahda, Al-Okhdood, Al-Ansar, Al-Orouba, and Al-Kholoud. The clubs have been selected based on their operational readiness, financial health, administrative capabilities and athletic facilities.

An additional eight clubs — Al-Shoalah, Hajar, Al-Najmah, Al-Riyadh, Al-Rawdhah, Jeddah, Al-Taraji and Al-Sahel — will all also be up for privatization at a later stage.

Following the successful privatization of Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ahli, and Al-Ittihad during the first phase, the project now advanced into phase two.

As part of the commitment to accelerate the transformation of the sports sector, the project seeks to enhance the administrative and financial governance of clubs, creating new opportunities for sports investment in the country to develop club infrastructure, among other things. This, in turn, will take fan experiences to new levels, the ministry’s statement said.

The Roshn Saudi League has shown significant commercial revenue growth from last season after the privatization of clubs, with a goal to potentially reach an annual total of 1.8 billion Saudi riyals ($479,819).

With more than 80 percent of the population following, watching or playing football, the league’s development is enhancing the sport and entertainment experience for a big fanbase. This progress is raising the bar for clubs in the league, encouraging them to invest in facilities and stadiums.

With the help of the ministry, Al-Fateh, Al-Ettifaq, Al-Taawoun, Al-Shabab and Al-Hilal all moved into their own home stadiums during the 2023-24 season.

The Sports Clubs Investment and Privatization Project operates through two primary tracks. The first involves granting permission for businesses and development organizations to invest in sports teams in return for ownership transfer. The second involves offering publicly owned sports clubs for privatization. Investors interested in participating in this project can visit the ministry’s website for application details and further information.