London, United Kingdom (CNN) – An Amnesty International official said that the English Premier League will need to “reconsider the assurances made” regarding Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Newcastle United after case papers in the United States showed the name of the club’s president, Yasser. Al-Rumayyan is a “current minister in the Saudi government.”
The Premier League had previously said it had received “legally binding assurances that Saudi Arabia will not control Newcastle United” during the club’s takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund in 2021.
In a document submitted, last Tuesday, before a court in the US state of California, lawyers representing the Public Investment Fund and Newcastle Chairman of the Saudi Public Investment Fund Governor Yasser Al-Rumayyan described the fund as a “sovereign instrument of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” and described Al-Rumayyan as “a current minister in the Saudi government.” .
The comments were made by lawyers representing LIV Golf, which is owned by the Public Investment Fund, in a lawsuit against the PGA Golf Championship.
Peter Frankenthal, director of economic affairs at Amnesty International UK, said in a statement to CNN: “The Premier League will certainly need to reconsider the assurances made that the Saudi authorities were not involved in the Newcastle deal, at least with a Qatari bid for Manchester. United now. Last month, Qatari Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani made an official offer to buy Manchester United.
“It was always naïve to imagine that the Saudi state was not directing the purchase of Newcastle United with the end goal of using the club as a component in reputational laundering efforts across the broader sport,” Frankenthal added.
In the eighteen months since the Newcastle purchase, the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia has deteriorated significantly, with dozens of executions after unfair trials, the imprisonment of peaceful critics, and the authorities continuing to prevent accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Frankenthal considered that “there is an unmistakable irony in the emergence of the disclosure of the sovereign wealth fund in a dispute over another arm of the growing sports empire of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” adding: “But the simple fact is that reputation laundering through sports affects many sports and the governing bodies have to respond.” him more effectively.”
The Premier League declined to comment when contacted by CNN. CNN has also reached out to the Public Investment Fund and Newcastle United for comment.
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