Why are Saudi Arabia called KSA on TV when playing football? | The Sun

EAGLE-EYED football fans may have spotted Saudi Arabia being referred to as KSA on TV.

But why is this abbreviation used, how many World Cups have Saudi Arabia played in and who is currently in the squad? Here’s everything you need to know.

Why are Saudi Arabia called KSA on TV?

KSA stands for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – the country’s official name, which when abbreviated fits inside the small space allocated to the game’s scoreboard on TV broadcasts.

The country was founded as a kingdom in 1932 by King Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

According to reports, both FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) use the KSA abbreviation.

However, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) uses SA.

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How many times have Saudi Arabia played at the World Cup?

In 2022, Saudi Arabia sealed their spot in Qatar and made their sixth appearance at the World Cup.

The national team made their first World Cup debut in 1994 – when they reached the last 16 in the USA.

They became the second Arab team in history to reach the round of 16 of a World Cup after Morocco at the 1986 FIFA World Cup.

Saudi Arabia then returned to the competition in 1998, 2002, 2006, 2018, and 2022.

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In the latest World Cup competition, the team beat eventual champions Argentina 2-1, however, they later lost the following matches against Poland and Mexico.

As a result, Saudi Arabia were knocked out fourth in the group stage.

In September 2023, Saudi Arabia launched their bid to host the 2034 World Cup – pushing back their initial plans to stage the 2030 tournament.

The Saudi FA released a statement which read: "Today, we enter the next chapter of Saudi football: intending to bid to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

"Our bid is inspired by Saudi Arabia’s transformation journey, the passion of our fans, and a commitment to deliver an amazing tournament."

What other competitions have Saudi Arabia competed in?

Aside from competing in the World Cup, Saudi Arabia have also competed in a number of other competitions.

They have won the AFC Asian Cup three times in 1984, 1988, and 1996 and have reached a joint record six Asian Cup finals.

Saudi Arabia are the first Asian team to reach the final of a senior FIFA competition at the 1992 King Fahd Cup – which would eventually become the FIFA Confederations Cup.

The national team also regularly participates in the Gulf Cup of Nations and Arab Nations Cup.

Who is in the current Saudi Arabia squad?

In August 2023, Roberto Mancini was named as the new manager of Saudi Arabia – two weeks after he resigned as Italy's head coach, following five years at the helm.

Mancini's contract is claimed to be worth a staggering £21.5million per year after tax.

Saudi Arabia were managed by Herve Renard at last year's World Cup, but the Frenchman stepped down in order to join his own country's women's national team.

Here we take a look at who is in the current Saudi Arabia squad.

  • GK – Mohammed Al-Owais
  • GK – Mohammed Al-Rubaie
  • GK – Raghed Al-Najjar
  • GK – Hamed Al-Shanqiti
  • DF – Yasser Al-Shahrani
  • DF – Ali Al-Bulaihi
  • DF – Saud Abdulhamid
  • DF – Sultan Al-Ghannam
  • DF – Abdulelah Al-Amri
  • DF – Hassan Al-Tambakti
  • DF – Ali Lajami
  • DF – Zakaria Hawsawi
  • MF – Salem Al-Dawsari
  • MF – Fahad Al-Muwallad
  • MF – Salman Al-Faraj
  • MF – Mohamed Kanno
  • MF – Abdulellah Al-Malki
  • MF – Sami Al-Najei
  • MF – Abdulrahaman Ghareeb
  • MF – Abdullah Al-Khaibari
  • MF – Nasser Al-Dawsari
  • MF – Ayman Yahya
  • MF – Ali Hazazi
  • MF – Faisal Al-Ghamdi
  • MF – Eid Al-Muwallad

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Other members of the squad include:

  • FW – Firas Al-Buraikan
  • FW – Abdullah Al-Hamdan
  • FW – Saleh Al-Shehri
  • FW – Haroune Camara
  • FW – Haitham Asiri
  • FW – Mohammed Maran

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