Why is Saudi Arabia KSA? Explanation of the Middle East country’s abbreviated name and other World Cup squad abbreviations


While all eyes are on the scores for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, some team abbreviations grab more attention than others.

While the majority are pretty straightforward and stick with the first three letters of a nation’s name, others may leave fans scratching their heads.

Saudi Arabia will be called KSA during the World Cup and is an abbreviation that will surely raise eyebrows.

The Sporting News takes a look at each nation’s abbreviation below.

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Why is Saudi Arabia displayed as KSA

FIFA has chosen to use the abbreviation KSA or the country code to refer to Saudi Arabia.

KSA stands for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is the official title of the country.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was formed in 1932 after the unification of the two kingdoms of Hejaz and Najd by royal decree.

FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) use the abbreviation KSA, but the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) uses SAU.

What is ISO country naming?

ISO country naming is an internationally recognized method of encoding a country based on a series of letters or numbers.

These ISO codes are used on things like passports and international vehicle registration.

This system is seen as a way to save time and reduce the number of errors when referring to countries.

Full list of country abbreviations at the 2022 World Cup

All FIFA member countries have their own unique abbreviation which can sometimes differ from their three letter ISO code.

Here are the 32 abbreviations that will be displayed during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar:

Country Abbreviation
Argentina AR
Australia AU
Brazil BRA
Cameroon CMR
Canada BOX
Costa Rica CRC
Croatia CRO
Denmark LAIR
Ecuador ECU
England FR
France ENG
Germany ALL
Ghana GHA
Iran DRI
Japan JPN
Mexico MEX
Morocco TUE
Netherlands NDE
Poland POL
Portugal ORP
Qatar QAT
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
Senegal SEN
Serbia CSR
South Korea HORN
Spain ESP
Swiss SU
Tunisia BARREL
Uruguay URU
Wales WALL

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