Saudi’s NEOM signs partnership deal with Asian Football Confederation - Gulf Business
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Saudi’s NEOM signs partnership deal with Asian Football Confederation

Saudi’s NEOM signs partnership deal with Asian Football Confederation

Four-year agreement covers all major AFC national team competitions

Saudi Arabia’s megacity NEOM has signed up as a Global Partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) from 2021-2024.

The agreement encompasses major AFC national team competitions, including the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar Final Round as well as Asia’s flagship national team competition – the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 – which is set to take place in China. The deal also covers the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022. NEOM will also support the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup.

NEOM, rising in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, has the ambition to become a major global sports destination. A teaser video on NEOM’s website includes visuals of football stadiums, cricket pitches, athletic tracks, and even a virtual reality-aided boxing training session. In 2019, NEOM played host to its inaugural Beach Soccer Cup. The Dakar Rally 2021 also tore through the area’s rugged landscape.

Read: How Saudi Arabia’s NEOM is using sports to define its future

NEOM wants the partnership with the AFC to provide it with a platform to grow its global profile as well as develop a culture of active lifestyle within its communities.

The partnership was secured by the AFC’s commercial partner Football Marketing Asia (FMA) who will manage the rights delivery. FMA will also work with NEOM and the AFC on a range of activation campaigns in the coming months, initially with a digital focus and over time also presenting opportunities for fans to visit NEOM in person.

“We regard and value the AFC as a progressive and innovative partner who is committed to taking football in Asia to greater heights,” said Nadhmi Al Nasr, CEO of NEOM. “This reflects NEOM’s ambition to become a globally recognised centre of sporting excellence, to provide a world-class environment for the brightest minds and best talent to excel, and to contribute to the growth and economic prosperity of the kingdom.”

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