Wednesday December 6, 2023

Saudi Prince Dismisses Sportswashing Claims Post Newcastle, LIV Golf

  • Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke about sportswashing with Fox News.
  • The controversial leader was bullish on the value of sports investments.
LIV Golf flag pin
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Sportswashing has been one of the more ubiquitous terms in the industry over the past few years as foreign nations invest billions of dollars in professional teams and leagues in the U.S. and Europe.

One of the most criticized countries is Saudi Arabia, whose $700 billion Public Investment Fund has backed the launch of LIV Golf, the purchase of Premier League club Newcastle United, investments in Formula 1, and the Saudi Pro League — the latter of which has brought unprecedented disruption to European soccer.

Saudi Arabia has even launched a sports-specific investment company that recently purchased a stake in the MMA upstart Professional Fighters League.

As the focus of sports continues, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he isn’t bothered by sportswashing claims.

“If sportswashing [is] going to increase my GDP by 1%, then I will continue doing sportswashing,” he told Fox News on Bret Baier’s “Special Report” show. “I don’t care. I have 1% growth of GDP from sport, and I’m aiming for another 1.5% — call it whatever you want, we’re going to get that 1.5%.”

Various databases calculated Saudi Arabia’s GDP at more than $1 trillion by the end of 2022. While it isn’t clear exactly what metrics bin Salman was referring to, his claim would mean sports investments have boosted Saudi Arabia’s GDP by $10 billion.

Either way, the leader’s comments correlate with the country’s present and future actions. Saudi Arabia has discussed investing in professional tennis, and wants to bid for the 2034 FIFA World Cup.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Baseball Extends Celebration of Negro Leagues With HOF Tribute Game

New event dovetails with planned MLB game at historic Rickwood Field.

NHL Plans To Stage 2024 Draft At $2.3B Vegas Sphere

League becomes first sports entity to stage an event entire at venue.

Two Years After Tokyo’s $13B Olympics: Criminal Charges

Trial begins in bid-rigging scandal further marring already troubled Games.

Diamond Baseball Holdings Flexes Further With WooSox Deal

MiLB team holding company extends acquisition push with Boston's top affiliate.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

NCAA Opens Door to Athlete Compensation


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? "AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing"

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference's future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin's interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Saco Bay PT
Multiple - USA Careers
Oct 22, 2022; Paris, FRANCE; General view the Eiffel Tower and the Seine river, as seen from Pont Alexandre III in advance of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The bridge will serve as the site for triathlon, open water swim and road cycling.

Olympic Hosts Paris and Brisbane Grapple With Security Concerns, Soaring Costs

Fatal stabbing near Eiffel Tower raises new concerns about Paris 2024.
November 27, 2023

Two U.S. World Cups in Two Years?

The United States is hoping to host the 2027 Women's World Cup.
Olympic rings in front of mountains in the background
November 29, 2023

IOC's Winter Olympics Favorites: France 2030, Salt Lake City 2034

Preferred bidders have been selected for 2030 and 2034.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.
November 21, 2023

Cricket Continues To Surge In Popularity

Tournament posts record-level attendance, streaming totals.
Oct 22, 2022; Paris, FRANCE; General view the Eiffel Tower and the Seine river, as seen from Pont Alexandre III in advance of the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The bridge will serve as the site for triathlon, open water swim and road cycling.
November 20, 2023

Paris Olympics Problems Continue With Price-Gouging Claims

Average room prices expected to more than triple for upcoming Games.
Saudi player wins ball from Argentinian player in World Cup match-up
November 17, 2023

$1B Saudi Arabian-FIFA Deal Expected To Follow 2034 World Cup Bid

Saudi oil company Aramco is reportedly close to a deal with FIFA.
November 14, 2023

Wimbledon Expansion In Doubt Amid Local Objections

Local borough planners recommended rejection of project