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Saudi Arabia spends at least $ 1.5 billion on “sports washing,” the report reveals | Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is spending at least $ 1.5 billion on high-profile international sporting events to boost its reputation, a new report reveals.

Human rights group Grant Liberty reports that oil-rich countries have invested millions of dollars throughout the sports world, at the world’s richest horse racing event with chess championships, golf, tennis, and prizes. One Saudi Cup alone costs up to $ 60 million to $ 20 million.

The report, published next week, details the kingdom’s $ 650 million 10-year contract with Formula One, which will begin this Sunday at the World Championships and will include the first race in the port city of Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Sport Prince Abdulaziz Binturki (center) and Saudi Arabia Automobile and Motorcycle Federation President Khalid Alfaisal are depicted on stage at a press conference announcing the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix as part of the 2021 F1 calendar. Photo: Amer Hilabi / AFP / Getty Images

Grant Liberty’s analysis outlines the huge scale of investment in what Saudi Arabia calls “sports washing,” the practice of investing in or hosting sporting events to obscure the poor human rights records of the kingdom, and is a new major tourist attraction. Events that show off their position as a global place.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 Master Plan five years ago, a radical strategic plan aimed at reducing Saudi Arabia’s economic dependence on oil. However, the plan was touted as a watershed that would transform the kingdom socially and economically, followed by extensive crackdowns on objections, including the arrest of feminist activists and religious clergy.

The kingdom also led the intervention in Yemen. This is part of a war that killed more than 100,000 people, including at least 12,000 civilians. Observer quote At least two-thirds of these deaths were caused by an aggressive campaign of air strikes in Saudi Arabia.

A Recently declassified US intelligence report MBS has been appointed as the ultimate responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The Guardian recently revealed that: Saudi Arabian officials have issued what was considered a threat to murder Following an investigation into Khashoggi’s murder, he sued UN investigator Agnes Calamar to a colleague last January.

Meanwhile, the Kingdom has spent a great deal of time securing participation in global sporting events as part of its efforts to present Saudi Arabia as a new, advanced country for business. This includes $ 145 million for a three-year contract with the Spanish Football Federation and $ 15 million for a single Saudi International Men’s Golf Tournament. Also, $ 33 million to host the Saudi Arabia Masters snooker tournament in the kingdom and 100 million for a boxing match known as the “ Sand Dunes Crash” between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua in 2019. Includes dollars.

Luis Rubiales (left) and Saudi Arabia General Sports Bureau Chairman Abdulaziz bin Turki Alfaisal will host the Spanish Soccer Super Cup at a press conference in 2019.
Luis Rubiales (left) and Saudi Arabia General Sports Bureau Chairman Abdulaziz bin Turki Alfaisal will host the Spanish Soccer Super Cup at a press conference in 2019. Photo: Amur Nabir / AP

Saudi Arabia also cut its 10-year contract with World Wrestling Entertainment by $ 500 million in 2014. The contract prohibited the appearance of female performers until two years ago.

“Saudi Arabia is trying to use the reputation of the world’s most beloved sports star to obscure human rights records of atrocities, torture and murder,” Saudi Arabia “has committed human rights abuses in industry.” Said Lucy Ray of Grant Liberty, who accused him. scale”.

“The world’s leading sports star may not have asked to be part of an ironic marketing plan to divert the world from atrocities, but that’s what’s happening,” she added. It was.

Grant Liberty has compiled reported figures for transactions between Saudi-controlled entities, such as organizations visiting Saudi Arabia and NEOM, the organization that oversees the construction of Saudi Arabia. A futuristic $ 500 billion city in the desert, But not an individual member of the Saudi royal family. So the $ 1.5 billion figure could underestimate the true magnitude of Saudi Arabia’s investment in sports.

Also, deals that didn’t come true after protests, including a $ 6 million offer to footballers Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the face of Saudi Arabian tourism, and a $ 400 million bid for the controversial Newcastle United. Analysis is also included.

The Kingdom will also include a $ 200 million Tyson Fury vs. Joshua Boxing match later this year and a $ 180 million sponsorship to Real Madrid through the Kidia Project, a megaproject of tourism and entertainment in Riad. Entered a pending bid for the event Under the umbrella of “Vision 2030”.

Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua pose in the photo after weighing before the fight in Riad in 2019.
Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua pose in the photo after weighing before the fight in Riad in 2019. Photo: Richard Heath Court / Getty Images

“Vision 2030 sets the creation of professional sports and the sports industry as one of its goals. It not only provides employment to potentially thousands of Saudis, but also the lives of all who live in the kingdom. Will improve the quality of the sport, “said Fahad Nazer, a spokesman for the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington, about the findings of Grant Liberty.

“The Kingdom not only introduces Saudi to new sports and famous international athletes, but also hosts and supports various sporting and sporting events that introduce the Kingdom’s landmarks and the nature of people’s welcome to the world. I’m proud to do it. “

Saudi Arabia spends at least $ 1.5 billion on “sports washing,” the report reveals | Saudi Arabia

Source link Saudi Arabia spends at least $ 1.5 billion on “sports washing,” the report reveals | Saudi Arabia

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