RIYADH: NEOM has become a global partner of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) from 2021-2024, it was announced on Monday.
The agreement will encompass 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.
Other competitions included in the partnership are the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022. In addition, NEOM will be a strong supporter of the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup globally.
“The AFC is delighted to welcome NEOM to the fast-expanding AFC family of global partners, which once again reinforces the undeniable stature and prestige of the AFC’s brand and its competitions,” AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor John said.
NEOM is a project of global significance currently under development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, focused on creating a new model for sustainable living and accelerating human progress.
The partnership was secured by the AFC’s commercial partner Football Marketing Asia, which will manage the rights delivery and work closely with NEOM and the AFC on launching a range of activation campaigns in the coming months. The campaigns will initially have a digital focus and over time will also present opportunities for fans to experience NEOM in person.
“NEOM’s partnership with the AFC not only underscores the attractive and engaging platform the AFC provides through its many world-class competitions but also emphasizes the profound and lasting impact Asia’s No. 1 sport can have on strengthening communities,” Windsor John added.
“We look forward to creating and sharing historic moments with NEOM and realizing our common ambitions.”
With plans to become a global center for sport, NEOM’s partnership with the AFC will provide it with a long-term platform to grow its profile on the world stage, develop a culture of active lifestyles within its own communities, and leverage its investment in technology, innovation, performance and sustainability to benefit football across the whole of Asia.
Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, said: “NEOM is extremely excited about its ambitious partnership with the AFC. Football is by far Saudi Arabia’s favorite sport. It holds a special place in the hearts of our people and therefore provides a unique opportunity to inspire and enable NEOM’s citizens to lead active lifestyles as we move toward our goal of having the most physically active population on the planet.
“We regard and value the AFC as a progressive and innovative partner who is committed to taking football in Asia to greater heights,” he added. “This reflects NEOM’s own ambition to become a globally recognized center 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.”