Saudis Plan To Go After World Cup And Olympics

The country has the money to land both events.

Somebody invented the term “sportswashing” which describes someone or some country using sports to improve a reputation to take attention away from controversial subjects. An example of sportswashing taking place according to the definition of the term is LIV Golf, an organization supported by the government of Saudi Arabia. Phil Mickelson joined that tour where he has a chance to make more money than the PGA Tour despite knowing Saudi Arabia’s human rights record which includes the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the oppression of women and LGBTQ+ groups, as well as the alleged torture and disappearance of activists. Mickelson called the Saudis “scary mother” blankety blanks. Mickelson has his name on an antitrust lawsuit along with LIV Golf and six other golfers that claims the PGA Tour has used monopoly power to try to squash competition and has unfairly suspended players. LIV Golf lawyers told the court that without a favorable ruling, its ‘ability to maintain a meaningful competitive presence in the markets will be destroyed.’

Saudi Arabia is looking to expand its presence on the global sports platform. The country is aiming to host a World Cup and an Olympics. Since World Cup organizers gave its 2022 international soccer tournament to Qatar, there is no reason why FIFA would say no to the Saudis if indeed the country does bid for the event. It appears that Egypt, Greece and Saudi Arabia will proceed with a plan to host the 2030 World Cup. Saudi officials have said the Olympics would be the country’s “ultimate goal” in its expanding sports portfolio. The Saudis are not among the countries which include Indonesia, Germany, Mexico and England thinking about putting in a bid for the 2036 Summer Olympics. Both FIFA and the IOC would take Saudi money.

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