The world golf champion places greed over principles to whitewash Saudi Arabia’s sports reputation! – homeland

Inside Arabia, a magazine specializing in Middle East and North African affairs, in a report highlighted the efforts and efforts of the Saudi Crown Prince and the de facto ruler of the Kingdom, Mohammed bin Salman, to infamous human rights record. exploiting influential figures around the world, including athletes, to conduct positive propaganda, revealing the role of world golf champion Greg Norman in this context.

Since King Salman bin Abdulaziz handed over his 30-year-old son Mohammed when he came to power in 2015, the young prince, according to the authors, has hired global polling firms to investigate Americans and Europeans about their perceptions of Saudi Arabia. The book “Blood and Oil”.

It is not surprising that the country’s human rights violations against political opponents, women and religious and sexual minorities became the first image of the oppressive Saudi regime, and its record, which Amnesty International described as “abomination”.

To change these perceptions or rather divert global attention away from the kingdom’s human rights record, Mohammed bin Salman has implemented a set of steps to change the face of the kingdom, including hosting major sporting events, specifically the “Asian Golf Tour.”

Seduce the golf star with $ 2.5 million!

The Saudi government has been trying for years to lure professional golfers to whiten its reputation for its treatment of dissidents, prisoners of conscience, religious minorities and women.

But for years, the Saudi government has failed in its quest to sign a global name as the number one man in international golf tournaments.

“There is morality in this,” said golf star Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner, referring to the kingdom’s human rights abuses over its decision to make a $ 2.5 million offer to play in Saudi Arabia two years ago. , to reject.

A year later, Tiger Woods also missed a record $ 3.3 million to play in Saudi Arabia. Referring to the horrific murder and dismantling of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Also read: Mohammed bin Salman’s campaign against Saad al-Jabri clashes with a blockade of barriers

Now, according to the magazine, Saudi persistence is finally paying off fruitfully through LIV Golf Investments, a subsidiary of the private investment fund managed by the Saudi government.

Former world number one golf champion Greg Norman, also known as the great white shark, has been named the company’s new CEO.

He became the first man for the recently announced 10-series of the Asian tour, which starts next year.

200 million .. “just the beginning”

Norman described the $ 200 million prize money over the next 10 years as “just the beginning”. Amid credible rumors, he will also become a commissioner for a new Saudi-funded golf league.

When Gulf Digest asked Norman if he had “any concerns about the source of the funds, specifically the relationship with Saudi Arabia,” he said: “The Public Investment Fund is the biggest investor. They enjoy great independence. Is passionate about playing golf. ”

The magazine described Norman’s statements as “complete nonsense” and pointed out that Mohammed bin Salman was not just the head of the Public Investment Fund. He is also the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. This makes the Public Investment Fund the exact opposite of “autonomy.”

He works according to the whims of Mohammed bin Salman, the man who ordered the assassination of Khashoggi, as well as permanently imprisoning and torturing his critics.

Yet none of this bothered Norman, who ignored human rights issues in the kingdom.

He justified his position by saying: “He went to Saudi Arabia three years ago. He only made his decision after “knowing what was happening in the country.”

Saudi Arabia “one of the worst human rights violators in the world”

In other words, Norman claims to know more about human rights violations in Saudi Arabia than Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI).

And Saudi organizations were classified earlier this year as “one of the worst human rights violators in the world.” This is due to his poor record of torture, executions, extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention and the death penalty.

Julia Legner, head of advocacy at London NGO ALQST, said in a recent interview: “The data I collected [HRMI] It fully illustrates the deterioration of the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. “

She continued: “Since Mohammed bin Salman became crown prince in 2017. He centralized state authority and strengthened his grip on most basic rights. With the greatest repression of freedom of expression in the country’s history, and a massive trial of human rights defenders. “

Norman claims, according to the report, that he has visited Saudi Arabia several times over the past three years to play golf and design golf courses.

And whether it is an advertisement for a future Saudi-backed Premier League or not. This is another example of Saudi Arabia injecting its money in an attempt to wash away its terrible human rights record.

A warning to golfers

And golf professionals who are tempted to play in these tournaments should take the time to consider the dynamics of sportswear. And how they can break his spell by speaking out about human rights violations in Saudi Arabia

Also read: “The Economist” on the vision of “Bin Salman”: “Luxury plans and unimplemented projects in imitation of its successful neighbors”!

But Norman does not care. On top of that, his relentless indifference to the marginalized and the oppressed does not surprise longtime followers of Australian golfers.

Former Australian rugby player Peter Fitzsimmons described the big white as not only the “world’s number one narcissist”, but also his “biggest fan”.

And after all, this is the guy who spends his days bragging about yachts, private jets and beating up American presidents. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Donald Trump included, while posting half-naked photos of himself on Instagram.

Norman’s self-glorification is the reason for his inability to understand or empathize with the suffering and misery of others. He has made it clear that he is prepared to whiten and misrepresent the crimes of one of the world’s worst human rights violators in exchange for money she does not already overcrowd with bank accounts.

In other words, putting greed above principles is undoubtedly what Norman stands for.

(Source: Inside Arabia – translated and edited by Watan)

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