Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) – headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – now owns 80% of the club, with the rest split between RB Sports & Media and PCP Capital Partners, led by chief executive Amanda Staveley. . Capture.
Before the acquisition was announced, Amnesty International urged the Premier League to change the trial of its owners and directors to address human rights issues and prevent “sportswashing”.
“We have significant concerns with human rights organizations such as Amnesty International regarding the treatment of LGBT+ people in Saudi Arabia and other countries around the world,” Pride in Football said in a statement on Saturday.
“It is clear that the new ownership of Newcastle United has close ties to, and in some cases, the same people who lead the repressive regime in Saudi Arabia.
“Football authorities have serious and important questions about allowing owners and sponsors to use football clubs for ‘sports wash’ and ‘rainbow wash’ to treat LGBT+ people, women and other minorities.”
Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and Amnesty International questioned how the Premier League could proceed with campaigns such as “Rainbow Lace”, an initiative launched with LGBTQ+ rights group Stonewall to promote diversity and equality. .
On Friday, Newcastle United’s official LGBTQ+ supporters group said they hope the club’s takeover could have a “positive impact” in Saudi Arabia and improve conditions for LGBTQ+ people there.
Stavley denied that the acquisition was designed to “sportswash” Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, saying the deal would rebuild the club into a winning team.
However, Pride in Football expressed solidarity with LGBT+ fans, who would view the acquisition as “a sign of the continued broken commitments to human rights in sport”.
The statement continued, “It is our fundamental belief that no fan should be in the position that they have to decide between supporting their favorite club and standing up for their rights or the rights of others.”
“We called for more thorough fit and fair testing for owners and directors directly… This acquisition highlights how inadequate the existing tests and structures for football ownership in this country are – they are simply on purpose. are not suitable.”
Credit : www.cnn.com