As gifts go, a 135,000 seater stadium is a pretty generous one – but a bet’s a bet.
That’s exactly what Saudi Arabia’s King Salman is giving to Iraq, as he plans to build the world’s biggest stadium, report the Sun .
Plans for the stadium have been given the go-ahead after Salman promised to construct the venue if Iraq could beat Saudi Arabia in a recent friendly match.
Despite Saudi Arabia qualifying for the World Cup , non-qualifiers Iraq ran out 4-1 victors in the home tie on February 28.
The game was a significant one, as it was the first international to be played in the country since the embargo was lifted following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
King Salman obviously fancied his teams chances prior to kick-off, stating to Iraq’s prime minister Haider al-Abadi that he would build the stadium should Iraq win the match.
Iraq were billed as the underdogs, but won comfortably as goals from Muhanad Ali (2), Emad Mohsin Majeed and an own goal ensured they came out on top.
Al-Abadi was jubilant post-match and said, “I have received a phone call from the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdul Aziz.
“He hailed Iraqi’s victory and expressed his preparedness and commitment to expanding positive relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia at different levels.
“Economical, commercial, communal, cultural… at all levels that are of interest for the two countries.
“He also offered Saudi Arabia’s contribution to build a main stadium in Iraq that accommodates 100,000 people.
“We have welcomed the initiative and it was proposed today to the Cabinet.”
Not content with just the 100,000 seats, King Salman then proposed to add a further 35,000 seats to the overall capacity, which more than doubles the 65,000 seats at Iraq’s current biggest venue Basra Sports City.
Barcelona hold the title of having Europe’s biggest stadium, with a capacity of 99, 54 – over 35,000 less than the proposed plans for King Salman’s creation.
Iraq do have competition for the crown though from North Korea, who boast that their Rungrado May stadium in Pyongyang holds a whopping 150,000.
That total remains unconfirmed however, and we wouldn’t want to discourage King Salman’s generosity.