Saudi Arabia’s Sports Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisalassured that the allegations of using sport to launder the country’s image were “very superficial”.
In an interview with the British BBC, The minister defended his country’s right to host the 2034 World Cup and assured that they would be accused of many things “without ever having been in the country and without having seen what they do.”
The Saudi Arabian regime He has been repeatedly criticized for using sport to cover up alleged human rights abuses. that occur in the country, such as the fact that relationships between people of the same sex are prohibited.
By improving the local league, with new signings like that of Cristiano Ronaldo And Karim Benzemawith the purchase of teams like Newcastle United, Hosting tournaments such as the 2034 World Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, the creation of the LIV golf circuit and the intention to host ATP and WTA tennis tournamentsSaudi Arabia has tried to divert attention and become one of the world’s sporting elite.
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“Nobody said anything to the Premier League when it made a similar investment“said the minister, justifying the expenditure of around 900 million euros that the Saudi league spent last summer.
On respect for human rights, the Prince Abdulaziz He assured that every country has “room for improvement” and that “no one is perfect.”
“We know that such events will help us make reforms for a better future for all. Everyone is welcome in Saudi Arabia. Like any other country, we have rules and regulations that everyone must respect.. When we come to the UK we respect the law whether we believe in it or not. There have been no problems at all in the 85 events so far.”
The President also reiterated that the policy of using cheap labor and ignoring workers’ rights will not be repeated as the country prepares for the World Cup.
“I can assure you that this will not happen again. We still have ten years to work on it. We’ve already started some stages, so we still have plenty of time to get it right.”