Saudi Football’s Rise: Impact on Africa Cup of Nations 2023.

In a nutshell: The upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast will see a notable presence of players from Saudi Arabia’s Pro League, with 25 participants in total, including stars like Kalidou Koulibaly and Sadio Mane.

Despite critics suggesting a step down from European leagues, players like Fashion Sakala argue their game has improved in the Middle East.

Former Cameroon international Sebastien Bassong believes Saudi-based players may have a climate advantage.

The controversial spending by Saudi Arabia in football, known as ‘sportswashing,’ has drawn attention, but players defend it, citing the competitive nature of the Premier League.

With hosting rights for the 2034 World Cup secured, Saudi Arabia’s influence in football extends to partnerships in Africa, although not all players find the experience enjoyable.

Challenges such as poor match attendance in the developing Pro League are acknowledged, but players express confidence and see benefits in terms of trust and competitiveness.

Source : BBC

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