The Privatization of Saudi Football

Rory Jones reports for the Wall Street Journal:

In Saudi Arabia, attendance at live matches is falling, soccer stadiums are in disrepair, and the national team won only one game in this year’s Gulf Cup—a debacle that led to the ouster of Dutch legend Frank Riijkaard as the Saudi team coach.

Now, with Saudi soccer fans focused as ever on the European game, the Saudi government body responsible for sport is looking to revitalize the national game with a radical plan to fully privatize the country’s top soccer league.

The benefits and costs of privatization have been studied for a few years now, but the change is not imminent. As the story notes in its conclusion, we are still at least few more years away from getting there. Meanwhile, the national team is still struggling and performance in the local competitions is in decline.