The Football Association of Malawi has welcomed Saudi Arabia’s bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup.
The Middle East nation announced on Thursday that it will bid for the World Cup just minutes after the world soccer’s governing body FIFA invited countries from the Asia and Oceania regions to submit bids.
President Walter Nyamilandu Manda said FAM, which has Football Development working relations with the Saudi Arabian Football Association (SAFF) is delighted that its partner has declared interest to host the world’s biggest football event.
“This is promising to be an exciting bid having noted that Saudi Arabia Football has taken the world by storm by attracting the best football players from all over the world.
“We can attest to the high level of professionalism of SAFF having experienced first-hand, the warm hospitality and first-class treatment accorded to the Flames when they camped in Saudi Arabia prior to going to the Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroun in 2022 and earlier this year as we prepared for AFCON qualifiers.
“We would like to wish our highly esteemed partner SAFF all the best with their bid for World Cup 2034. At the same time, we urge all partners of good will in Africa and beyond to support SAFF with the cause of the World Cup bid bearing in mind that the massive investment they are planning will have huge spin-offs,” said Nyamilandu Manda.
FAM signed an MoU with SAFF in 2021 with a view to accelerating football development in both countries and explore various areas of collaboration.
Malawi has on three occasion benefited from the partnership with two senior national team camps and an invitation to an elite football technical seminar for former Flames coach Mario Marinica and his then assistance Patrick Mabedi.
SAFF hosted the Flames for two weeks in December 2021 for a pre-2021 AFCON finals in Cameroun. In March this year, the Flames had a 10-day camping in Saudi Arabia where they played two training matches on their way to Cairo for a 2013 AFCON qualifier against Egypt.
The Saudi announcement came shortly after FIFA named Morocco, Spain and Portugal as hosts of the 2030 World Cup and declared that the 2034 World Cup will be held in the Asia or Oceania region.