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Saudi Crown Prince grants citizens free entry to 2018 World Cup qualifier

Saudi Crown Prince grants citizens free entry to 2018 World Cup qualifier

The kingdom’s national team can almost guarantee its entry to the tournament if it wins the match against Japan

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has granted citizens free entry to the national football team’s upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Japan that could seal its return to the tournament after more than a decade.

The royal made the purchase of tickets on behalf of fans on Saturday, according to Saudi Press Agency.

Saudi fans will be admitted to King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah free of charge for the match on Tuesday, September 5.

The kingdom is currently ranked in second place with 16 points in Group B of Asian qualifying and can almost guarantee a place in Russia next year if it wins.

Japan leads the group and has already qualified with 20 points and Australia ranks third with 16 points but a worse goal difference than the kingdom.

The UAE stands in fourth after beating Saudi in Al Ain on August 29 to reach 13 points, followed by Iraq with eight points and Thailand with two points.

Saudi Arabia will need to hold on to second place to guarantee qualification, with the team in third place forced to negotiate several playoff rounds to qualify.

The kingdom last reached the World Cup in Germany 2006 when it finished bottom of its group.

The chairman of the Federation of Saudi Football Federation, Adel bin Mohammed Ezzat, thanked Mohammed Bin Salman for the gesture.

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