Sylvan Adams planning World Cup to be hosted by Israel, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia

The World Cup "would be the biggest event ever in the history of Israel,” said Sylvan Adams.

 Sylvan Adams speaks at The Jerusalem Post London Conference 2022 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Sylvan Adams speaks at The Jerusalem Post London Conference 2022
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

In a one-on-one interview with Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz, Sylvan Adams – philanthropist, businessman and Israel’s “self-appointed ambassador for the State of Israel” – discussed the importance of promoting the country to the world through sports, music and culture, and revealed some of his upcoming plans and projects.

Philanthropist and businessman Sylvan Adams at the The Jerusalem Post London Conference, March 31, 2022.

“Most people are not interested in politics or economics,” said Adams. “But most people are interested in sports, music and other cultural events. I’m trying to speak to the people that I call the ‘silent majority,’ who don’t know or care that much about Israel.”

By bringing Israel into the world’s living rooms through sports, music and culture, Adams says he is creating first-time virtual visitors to Israel who are pleasantly surprised by the beautiful reality they see on their screens.

Since immigrating to Israel from Canada six years ago, Adams has arranged Israel’s hosting of the first three stages of the Giro d’Italia Grand Tour bicycle race in Israel in 2018; brought Madonna to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv in 2019; and co-founded the Israel-Premier Tech professional cycling team, the first team from Israel to compete at the highest level of its sport, including in cycling’s most famous race, the Tour de France.

Adams told Katz and the conference audience about his latest idea: hosting the 2030 World Cup together with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Adams has met with Saudi Arabia’s minister of sport, who has expressed interest in pursuing the concept.

 Philanthropist and businessman Sylvan Adams receiving the Jerusalem Post Sport Diplomacy Award from Editor in Chief Yaakov Katz at The Jerusalem Post London Conference, Marh 31, 2022.  (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST) Philanthropist and businessman Sylvan Adams receiving the Jerusalem Post Sport Diplomacy Award from Editor in Chief Yaakov Katz at The Jerusalem Post London Conference, Marh 31, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

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“One billion people watched the Giro d’Italia bicycle race in Israel. The World Cup audience would be four billion,” he said.

Another project that has been formally announced, said Adams, is the Middle Eastern Regional Ironman Championship, scheduled to take place in Tiberias on November 25, 2022. The Ironman is the marquee brand of the sport of triathlon, consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km.) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km.) bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km.) run.

“We will have 6,000 competitors in Tiberias in November,” said Adams, “and we’re hoping to have quite a number of participants from the Middle East from our neighbors as part of the benefits and the fruit of the Abraham Accords.”

Adams also discussed one of his most dramatic operations, in which he partnered with IsraAID, an international nongovernmental humanitarian aid organization based in Israel, to help free 300 Afghans, members of the Afghan women’s cycling team, along with others, from the hands of their Taliban rulers.

“We have an ancient cultural imperative called tikkun olam, ‘repairing the world,’ he said. These are the values that we have as a people, and I was humbled and proud and honored to be able to participate in helping.”

At the conclusion of the interview, Katz presented Adams with the Jerusalem Post Sport Diplomacy Award for his efforts in promoting the State of Israel through sports, culture and entertainment.