KUALA LUMPUR: Just one week after the Asian football confederation welcomed Saudi Arabia’s bid to host the 2034 World Cup so – coincidentally or not – the Saudi tourism operator has been signed up as a sponsor of the AFC’s national team events.

These will include this year’s Asian Cup in Qatar.

AFC general secretary Datuk Seri Windsor John said: “The AFC is pleased to welcome Visit Saudi as our latest Official Global Partner, which once again reiterates the ever-growing stature and profound impact of the AFC’s world-class national teams’ competitions in reaching audiences across the globe.

“We are grateful to Visit Saudi for underlining their belief in Asian football and we look forward to working together to create more milestone moments for all our stakeholders.”

An AFC statement said:

Visit Saudi has become an Official Global Partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) until December 2024. The partnership will bolster Visit Saudi’s efforts to showcase Saudi Arabia’s growing tourism offerings to Asian football fans across the globe, in addition to supporting the growth of football and sports across the Kingdom.

The AFC will provide Visit Saudi with a new, world-class platform to promote Saudi Arabia to millions of passionate Asian football fans across the globe, beginning with the highly anticipated AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™.

The agreement encompasses major AFC National Team competitions, including but not limited to Asia’s flagship National Team competition – the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ – as well as the AFC U23 Asian Cup™ Qatar 2024, the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament (Final Round) for Paris 2024, the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup™ 2024, the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup™ 2024, and AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ 2024.

The partnership will pave the way for the AFC and Visit Saudi to develop an array of exceptional activations and promotional efforts across AFC National Team competitions, that will inform, engage, and entertain Asian football fans.

The partnership covers activities within Saudi Arabia, at the AFC’s competitions, and other platforms across Asia to showcase the best of both Asian football and Saudi Arabia’s broad and exciting sports and tourism offerings.

This partnership deal will be managed by Asia Football Group (AFG), the AFC’s commercial agency for 2023 – 2028.