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Press Dossier   News Category    Economy    NEOM renews partnership with Asian Football Confederation to 2029

Arab News, Thursday, Jul 11, 2024 | Muharram 5, 1445

NEOM renews partnership with Asian Football Confederation to 2029

Saudi Arabia:

RIYADH: Collaboration between Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion giga-project NEOM and the Asian Football Confederation will run until 2029 after a partnership deal between the two was renewed.

Under the terms of the arrangement, NEOM will continue to serve as the official global partner of the AFC national team and club competitions and be the presenting partner of the first pan-Asian AFC Women’s Champions League.

The agreement aims to promote inclusivity in sports and support the development of women’s football across Asia, a press release stated.

The two parties first signed a four-year partnership in 2021, which encompassed major AFC national team competitions, including the 2022 World Cup and AFC Asian Qualifiers featuring the continent’s top 12 football nations, as well as Asia’s flagship national team competition, the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

“NEOM’s partnership with the Asian Football Confederation provides us with a valuable platform to collaborate with a global football leader, creating opportunities and positively contributing to the development of sport across Asia,” Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, said.

“Sport is a key component of Saudi Vision 2030’s ambition to develop a healthy society with strong social bonds and the extension of our partnership with the AFC supports NEOM’s aspirations to become an innovative hub for sport and its goal to have one of the most physically active societies globally,” he added.

The release further stated that the partnership aims to reinforce NEOM’s presence in Asian football, marked by AFC’s revamped club tournaments.

The newly introduced AFC Champions League Elite Finals will see NEOM as the Official Global Presenting Partner of the eight final matches being played in Riyadh in 2025.

NEOM will also be the Presenting Partner of the inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League, promoting the top 12 women’s clubs from across Asia.

This agreement builds on the foundations laid over the past four years as Saudi Arabia prepares to host prestigious football competitions such as the AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027.

The partnership between NEOM and the AFC has led to the creation of “Champions of Progress,” an initiative designed to use the global platform of football to drive positive change across the region. This undertaking will focus on activations and developing the next generation of talent across AFC competitions.

“This partnership renewal further reinforces the appeal of the AFC’s competitions to engage with the millions of passionate fans of Asian football and we look forward to creating more historic moments with NEOM to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes,” the AFC General Secretary, Datuk Seri Windsor John said.

The collaboration with the AFC is expected to significantly contribute to the livability of NEOM’s residents and the project’s dynamic economy, the release added.

NEOM further stated that it aims to become one of the world’s most physically active societies, with its residents engaging with AFC events and enabling a grassroots development program targeted at youth across Saudi Arabia.

The partnership has already supported NEOM’s initiatives, such as the Shuhub Community Program, which has engaged 10,000 young people around the Kingdom to date.

Through this collaboration, NEOM has provided local boys and girls from football community groups with opportunities to participate in AFC matches as player mascots, center circle children, and the first-ever trophy handover children at the AFC Champions League 23/24 Final.

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