Newcastle and Saudi Arabia: Will the English club really adopt a shirt in the colors of the Kingdom’s national team?

Leaked photos purportedly showing new shirts for English club Newcastle have sparked a heated controversy that has reverberated across Arab countries, with human rights activists harshly criticizing the “Saudi money”. What is the story of those shirts and what is Saudi Arabia’s relationship with them?

image copyright Daniel Chesterton/offside

It is very clear that football is no longer just a popular sport, for many countries that have recently tried to invest in this field by signing international stars or buying prestigious clubs.

Last October, the Saudi Public Investment Fund announced the purchase of the English club Newcastle United, after a long struggle during which the Kingdom knocked on several doors in the world of football.

The Newcastle purchase deal was met with anger from a number of human rights organizations, as some saw it as “an attempt to polish Saudi Arabia’s image politically.”

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