In the background are the bids for Expo 2030, which are contested by Ryad and Roma: the Giallorossi, with Riyahd Season, have a €25 million agreement, Lazio will put a message in support of the capital on its shirt.

It has been a great controversy, the one that has arisen from Roma’s decision to sign an agreement with Riyadh Season as main sponsor. The reasons are clearly political, with Expo 2030 in the background. Riyadh Season is in fact the Italian capital’s main rival in the race to host the great fair scheduled to take place in seven years’ time. The choice of the Giallorossi club has provoked numerous protests from Italian politicians, and even Lazio president Claudio Lotito, who is also a Forza Italia senator, has intervened in the issue, as reported in this Gazzetta dello Sport article: ‘I wouldn’t have done it, absolutely not. A Saudi private sponsor is one thing, we’re not here to play the moralist, but it’s clear that this sponsorship has a specific purpose, here there is a risk of damaging collective interests and therefore those who protect them should intervene.

THE FIGURES OF THE ROMA – SAUDI ARABIA AXIS. The Riyadh Season sponsorship is the richest contract in the history of Roma, worth 25 million euros for two years, including bonuses. Even more, if seen in an annual perspective, than the agreement with Qatar Airways, which yielded 30 million euros spread over three years (10 per season). This provides a considerable financial contribution to the Giallorossi’s coffers. The agreement could also include a commitment to play a friendly in Arabia against one of the Saudi teams.

LAZIO WITH EXPO 2030 ON JERSEYS. In response to Riyadh Season’s sponsorship of Roma, Lazio could, according to rumours reported by Corriere dello Sport in this article, play a significant role in the allocation of Expo 2030. The biancoceleste team would in fact wear the Expo 2030 logo on their shirts, thus gaining significant visibility by participating in the Champions League and taking the field against Celtic on the very evening of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) decision, which will award the event. Lazio’s president, Claudio Lotito, has declared himself in favour of supporting Rome’s bid to host Expo 2030, thus contributing to the interests of the city and the entire country from an economic and social point of view. This approach could provide further elements to the complex political issue surrounding the allocation of Expo 2030 between Rome and Saudi Arabia.