$2m Saudi Smash opens in Jeddah

$2m Saudi Smash opens in Jeddah
$2m Saudi Smash opens in Jeddah

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Riyadh: In a significant move for Saudi football, China is set to host the Saudi Super Cup 2025 tournament from Aug. 14 -17, according to the sports daily Arriyadiyah, a sister publication of Arab News.

Reports suggest that the decision to award China the hosting rights came after intense competition, particularly from Emirati and Qatari contenders. Despite strong bids from Doha and Abu Dhabi, the Chinese proposal emerged as the frontrunner. Additionally, Saudi officials are keen to relocate the tournament away from the Gulf region, aiming to engage a broader global audience and promote Saudi football.

One of the driving factors behind China’s successful bid is the presence of renowned international football stars in Saudi teams, contributing to their widespread popularity. Leading figures like Cristiano Ronaldo of Al-Nassr, Neymar Jr. representing Al-Hilal, Karim Benzema from Al-Ittihad, and Firmino, captain of Al-Ahli, add considerable allure to the competition.

The previous edition, held in Abu Dhabi, saw Al-Hilal clinch victory over their rivals Al-Nassr with a 2-1 scoreline.

Qualification for the upcoming Super Cup has been secured by Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr, based on their performance in the Saudi Pro League, known as the Roshn Saudi League. However, the participants from the King’s Cup, as well as its runner-up, are yet to be determined.

In recent Roshn League action, the Yellow Team, Al-Nassr, secured their place in the Super Cup by defeating hosts Al-Khaleej with a solitary goal. This victory propelled them to 71 points, firmly securing their second-place standing, a position out of reach for Al-Ahli, currently in third with 52 points and six matches remaining. Even with a perfect score, Al-Ahli would fall short of overtaking Al-Nassr, who, despite potential losses in their remaining fixtures, maintain a comfortable lead.

The Blue Team, Al-Hilal, who still need seven points to conclude their league campaign, have also booked their spot in the Super Cup. The tournament’s semifinals will feature clashes between Al-Hilal and Al-Ittihad, as well as Al-Nassr against Al-Khaleej.

Both Al-Khaleej and Al-Ittihad will vie for a spot in the final, eyeing the opportunity to secure one of the two coveted slots in the Super Cup. 

In the event that both teams fail to progress and the finalists emerge from the capital’s rivalry — Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr — Super Cup regulations dictate that the available slots will be awarded to the third and fourth-placed teams in the Roshn League standings.

Should only one of the capital’s teams advance to the cup final, they will automatically claim their Super Cup berth, either as champions or runners-up, with the remaining slot going to the third-placed team in the league.

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