A huge international sporting event is set to take place in Saudi Arabia next year.
It was revealed yesterday by the BBC that the Middle Eastern nation is on the provisional list to make its debut on the F1 circuit as early as 2021 and, as you expected, every national sports journalist in the country has unanimously condemned this move.
Actually no, they haven’t. Not at all, with Miguel Delaney, Dan Roan and Richard Keys nowhere to be seen. But why is this the case?
When the Saudis were on the verge of buying little old Newcastle United for £300m, newspapers such as the Independent, the Guardian, and the Evening Standard propelled themselves onto a high horse so they could scoff at the thought of an oil-rich state transforming our club’s fortunes.
The Toon Army were slaughtered from pillar to post, with fans being accused of having no moral compass simply for wanting their club to be successful.
An ex-wife of a journalist alleged to have been killed via orders from Mohammed bin Salman poured pressure on the Premier League to block the deal, alongside the likes of Richard Keys and beIN Sports. The vendetta against the Saudis was there for all to see, but there’s been no word from any of the above following their latest move in the world of sport.
Now, fair enough to Amnesty International. The human rights group were the first to criticise the failed takeover and have already released a statement opposing any F1 plans to stage an event in the controversial country. At least they have been consistent in their beliefs and I can’t criticise them for that.
But the British media? Nowhere to be seen on this one. The silence is deafening. This is the same British media who drooled over the prospect of Anthony Joshua travelling to Saudi Arabia to reclaim his world heavyweight belts back against Andy Ruiz not even a year ago.
The Newcastle United fan base see you. And it makes us more determined than ever to get our takeover revived and completed.