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Yasser Almisehal

President, Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF)


Yasser Almisehal is an industrial management and finance graduate with honors from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. He was elected President of SAFF in 2019 and is a member of the FIFA disciplinary committee as well as the AFC disciplinary and ethics committee. Almisehal is also a Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee board member. He was previously vice-president of SAFF, chairman of the Saudi Pro League, CEO of the Saudi Pro League, and member of AFC Ad-Hoc Committee for Professional Clubs.

"SAFF is KSA’s football federation and has been recognized by FIFA since 1956. It governs all aspects of football."
What is SAFF’s mandate?

SAFF is KSA’s football federation and has been recognized by FIFA since 1956. It governs all aspects of football. SAFF has 47 members at the General Assembly, who the administrative power over the Federation and also elects the board that represents them to manage the daily business of the game. Over the past 66 years, we have had successes and challenges. If we look at the national team FIFA rankings, since we took over in 2019, we have progressed from 70th place to 49th. This indicates that we have done an excellent job and rank now among the top 50 national teams in the world.

What has been the strategy to create a world class football league?

We share common goals with our colleagues in the Saudi Professional League (SPL). We want the SPL to be among the top five leagues in the world. We have a strategy in place that will last until 2034. In Asia, we are currently rated as the best league of the continent. We have a Saudi team, Al Hilal, which has won two of the last three AFC Champions League editions, which is a remarkable achievement for the Saudi clubs. We also have a large number of international players plying their trade in the Kingdom. In our strategy as a federation, along with our league, we want to become among the top 20 best national teams in the world by 2034.

How is football and SAFF assisting in these economic diversification as part of Vision 2030?

One of Vision 2030’s major programs is called Quality of Life, and sports fall under the umbrella of this program. Nearly 90% of Saudis follow and are passionate about football. Football’s contribution to the GDP has skyrocketed from SAR2.4 billion in 2016 to SAR6.4 billion today. There are almost 20,000 full-time jobs in the sports industry, plus an additional 60,000 indirect jobs. Sponsorship also plays an important part, with companies sponsoring the league and SAFF and contributing to the income of the clubs and the federation as well. Hosting big events such as the Spanish Super Cup attracts a good number of tourists, which aligns with Vision 2030.



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