If FIFA doesn’t step in to stop Saudi Arabia from dominating the transfer market, the Italy soccer federation president says the sport risks becoming unbalanced.
Currently, Saudi Arabians are throwing the soccer world into disarray by paying extraordinary salaries and making record transfer offers. Famous players who played for European sides are flocking to participate in the Saudi Pro League, raising the level of play and competitiveness.
To ensure financial security for the foreseeable future, Saudi clubs offer exorbitant wages. These compensation promises led to the discussion of ‘generational wealth’ among players. Several A-list players made the recent switch to Saudi Arabia. For example, Sadio Mane, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, and Riyad Mahrez moved to the Middle East.
It all began with Ronaldo and Benzema
Cristiano Ronaldo joined the Al-Nassr team in the Saudi Pro League in January of this year. Karim Benzema and other big names in European soccer have since followed him to the Middle East. The Saudi Public Investment Fund purchased four of the league’s most successful clubs. That signaled the start of this pattern.
Italy soccer President wants FIFA to solve Saudi issue
President of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Gabriele Gravina voiced his opinions on Saudi Arabia. He said the country’s recent domination of the transfer market requires action. Moreover, he said FIFA should look into the issue of Middle Eastern money ‘stealing’ players from Europe. Of course, that includes his Italian Serie A.
During the 2023 Report Calcio event, he stated, via Sky Italia: “Right now, the Saudi Arabia phenomenon responds to other logics, we know very well what the projection towards 2030 is, with respect to the logic of enhancing the sporting and football phenomenon as a social phenomenon of aggregation and product enhancement first in North America and then in China.”
“With Saudi, we are in the area of competence of FIFA and I think it is right that it begins to identify a method for a whole series of interventions that no longer respond to the logic of the market but to the logic of support through the use of state funds; a state which, among other things, has the unlimited wealth. Today we still have time to partially remedy, otherwise, we will run the risk of having an absolute imbalance towards some markets.”
PHOTO: IMAGO / Pressinphoto
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