Saudi Arabia Buys Its Way into Professional Sports

news 10-Jun-2023 Usa News

Recently, Saudi Arabia has invested in US pro-golf, drawing sharp criticism. For Terry Strada, who lost a loved one in the 9/11 attacks, it was a blow to hear that the Saudis had infiltrated the professional golf sport in the US. LIV Golf, a new league financed with billions of dollars from the Saudi state fund, is now in competition with the established PGA Tour, aggressively recruiting players with hundreds of millions of dollars in prize money.

US intelligence accuses the Saudi Crown Prince of being responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and many links to the 9/11 attacks lead back to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has been accused of "sportswashing," trying to clean up their image through sports.

Despite this criticism, the PGA recently announced that they will be merging their golf operations with the Saudis. The PGA and LIV leagues will now become one organization, with the Chairman of the Saudi State Fund becoming the Chairman of the new company.

PGA Tour and LIV Golf Merge Despite Criticism

The new partnership follows a year of political tension in US golf since the formation of LIV Golf. The league's billion-dollar financing from Saudi Arabia drew players away from the established PGA Tour. Despite initially criticizing LIV Golf as "sportswashing," the PGA will now be merging with them to unite the world of golf under one roof.

Trump Supports Golf Fusion with Saudi Arabia

Former US President Donald Trump, who has previously supported LIV Golf and allowed some tournaments to take place on his golf courses, welcomed the "big, beautiful" merger. However, many have accused Saudi Arabia of investing in professional sports to clean up their image and distract from past wrongdoings, such as 9/11 and Khashoggi.

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