Saudi human rights group ALQST accused the Premier League of being purely motivated by money and of using “deeply inadequate” criteria to assess human rights considerations in the aftermath of the war. acquisition of Newcastle United by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman – now owns 80% of the club, with the rest split between RB Sports & Media and PCP Capital Partners, including CEO Amanda Staveley, directed the resume. As fans hope the takeover will help turn the Premier League club’s situation around, several human rights groups have questioned the Premier League for allowing the transfer, highlighting Arabia’s poor record. Arabia in human rights.
“For Saudi Arabia, the deal shows the success of its PR strategy of investing in sports companies in an effort to clean up its image. For the Premier League… they are effectively inviting other abusive leaders to follow suit. not, ”said the acting director of ALQST. Nabhan al-Hanashi told Reuters. “Their (Premier League) reasoning that the PIF is a separate entity from the Saudi state is a farce – just look at who chairs the PIF – Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman himself, whose reign has been marked by the most brutal forms of repression. “
Human Rights Watch described the takeover as a wake-up call to fans, broadcasters and gamers. “This comes against the backdrop of a Saudi Arabia strategy of using sports teams, athletes and major sporting events in the country to distract from its national human rights crises,” said Minky Worden, director of global initiatives at Human Rights Watch.
The Premier League and PIF did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Saudi government denies allegations of human rights violations and says it is protecting itself from extremists and external factors, while the Premier League said on Thursday it had given the green light to the move after receiving “legally binding assurances that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not control Newcastle United Football Club”.
In an interview with The Times on Thursday, Staveley dismissed suggestions of “sportwashing”, saying that if that had been the case they would have bought a major franchise in the United States and not a club sitting in the Premier’s relegation zone. League. “… It’s about investing in the companies and doing something special with a fantastic football club with the best fans in the world,” she said.
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