Saudi Arabia’s oil and gas giant Aramco has entered into a global partnership with world football governing body FIFA. 

Aramco has become FIFA’s Major Worldwide Partner exclusively in the energy category.  

The deal, effective until the end of 2027, includes sponsorship rights for events such as the FIFA World Cup 2026 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2027.  

Saudi Arabia has been investing billions of dollars in racing, martial arts, football, golf and other sports around the world. 

The Saudi second-tier team Al-Qadsiah is owned by state-owned Aramco, which is also constructing a stadium in Dammam to host games during the Asian Cup 2027 and maybe the World Cup 2034, which Saudi Arabia is expected to host, reported Reuters.  

Aramco president & CEO Amin Nasser said: “Through this partnership with FIFA we aim to contribute to football development and harness the power of sport to make an impact around the globe. It reflects our ambition to enable vibrant communities and extends our backing of sport as a platform for growth.  

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“Our existing relationship with the Saudi football team Al-Qadsiah, our support for women’s golf through the Aramco Team Series and our backing of F1 in schools each demonstrate the possibilities of such partnerships to create pathways for opportunity, positively impact society and promote development at the grassroots level.” 

Gianni Infantino, FIFA President, said: “We are delighted to welcome Aramco to FIFA’s family of global partners. This partnership will assist FIFA to successfully deliver its flagship tournaments over the next four years and, as is the case with all our commercial agreements, enable us to provide enhanced support to our 211 FIFA member associations across the globe.  

“Aramco has a strong track record of supporting world-class events but also a focus on developing grassroots sport initiatives. We look forward to collaborating with them on a variety of initiatives over the coming years.” 

In a separate development, earlier this week, Aramco confirmed ongoing discussions to acquire a 10% equity stake in the petrochemical unit of Hengli Group.  

Hengli Petrochemical’s refinery and integrated chemicals complex in Liaoning Province boasts a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day.  

The move is part of Aramco’s strategy to secure long-term crude oil supply contracts, advance its liquids-to-chemicals projects and strengthen its downstream portfolio in key markets. 

Aramco’s pursuit of strategic partnerships extends beyond Hengli Petrochemical, with the company signing memorandums of understanding with Jiangsu Eastern Shenghong and Shandong Yulong Petrochemical. 

Further cementing its global investment strategy, in September 2023, Aramco finalised an agreement to purchase a minority stake in liquified natural gas company MidOcean Energy for $500m (R2.01bn).