Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embraced accusations of “sportswashing” to rehabilitate the country’s image,
as the kingdom beefs up its spending and influence in the major international sports of golf and soccer.
Evelyn Hockstein | Reuters Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman embraced accusations of “sportswashing” to rehabilitate the country’s image,
as the kingdom beefs up its spending and influence in the major international sports of golf and soccer.Fox News that aired Wednesday night.
“Well, if sportswashing is going to increase my GDP by way of 1%, I will continue doing sportswashing,” he said during an interview with
“I don’t care … I want to reach another 1.5 percent. The practice has been dubbed sportswashing. The practice has been dubbed sportswashing.
The kingdom has ramped up investments in sports in recent years, taking stakes in Saudi soccer clubs and recruiting top players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar from Europe to Saudi Arabia with deals reportedly as high as $175 million. The kingdom also lured professional golfers such as Dustin Johnson and Bryson deChambeau from the PGA Tour and lured them to LIV Golf, a rival organization. They offered huge payouts before they agreed to merge. PIF invests in a variety of areas, from entertainment to electronic vehicles. The fund is worth over $700 billion, up from $528 billion in 2021,
Reuters reported earlier Thursday .The LIV Golf merger with the PGA Tour has faced widespread scrutiny. The LIV Golf merger with the PGA Tour has been widely scrutinized. U.S. officials found that Saudi Arabia had ties to 9/11, although the Saudi government denied involvement. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee, said during a panel hearing in July that the deal was a form of sportswashing. It’s called sportswashing,” Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Investigations Subcommittee chair Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said during a panel hearing in July examining the deal.
PGA Tour officials Jimmy Dunne and Ron Price said during that hearing that the golf organization faced an existential threat from LIV before the proposed merger.
Prior to the deal, LIV Golf sued the PGA Tour for alleged anticompetitive practices, which prompted the PGA Tour to countersue, saying LIV Golf was stifling competition.
“We are in a situation where we faced a real threat … you could go elsewhere for $1 billion, $3 billion, maybe $50 billion,” Price said at the time. We could do it but we’d end up losing total control if we did. “
Earlier in the month, the Senate Subcommittee conducted a second hearing about the LIV Golf-PGA Tour merger. One witness stated that the agreement wasn’t about business. This is a political operation. This is an influence operation to change U.S. policy and public opinion. “
-CNBC’s Lillian Rizzo, and Chelsey cox contributed to this story