In the past decade, the sporting world has seen a lot of changes. Some of them have directly come from the investments made by the Middle Eastern countries. One such country that has grabbed the attention of sports fans is Saudi Arabia. The Arab country has extended its reach in various sports including golf, which has led to some negative comments aimed at them. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman though does not care about it.
The leader of the nation was recently attending an interview with Fox News. He was asked about the term of sportswashing to which he replied he does not care about it. He would later waive them away with a controversial take which has then become a topic of discussion on the internet.
“If sportwashing is going to increase my GDP by 1% then we will continue doing sportswashing. I don’t care. I have 1% growth in GDP from sport, and I am aiming for another 1.5%. Call it whatever you want,” the crown prince said during the interview.
The sporting increase he talked about has come from two sports in the form of soccer and golf. The move of Cristiano Ronaldo to the Saudi Pro League was followed by a number of big names joining him there. Whereas, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) has been involved with LIV Golf for two years now. The recent development regarding the merger of LIV with the PGA Tour has also been a hotly debated topic across the internet.
Mohammed bin Salman calls golf merger a game-changer for the sport
When the LIV Golf was announced, the golfing fans were left stunned. They would berate the defectors of the sport and slam the huge names that joined the Saudi-funded circuit. These fans received another major shock in June this year when the PGA Tour announced a sudden merger with their rivals, thus bringing a two-year war to a close. Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman has called this move a game-changer for the sport.
“Well, that’s a game changer for the golf industry. You will now have competition and you will have focus in developing the game,” he said during the interview with Fox. “And that’s good for the players and the fans who love golf,” the 38-year-old leader added.
Despite the claims by Mohammed bin Salman, the debate regarding the merger is still going on. Recently, golfer Richard Bland claimed that Commissioner Jay Monahan and DP World Tour’s Keith Pelly needed to go for their involvement in this merger. He would call this move a scandalous deal.
The effects of the merger have been clearly felt across the United States. The amount of money and stakes involved in his agreement between the tours has raised questions. This has led US Senator Richard Blumenthal to urge the top bosses involved to testify about this deal before Congress. So far none of the marquee names have made their presence felt before the court. Could the merger be cancelled if they do not show up in the future is another interesting thing to watch out for.
Vinay Dave is a Content Writer and Editor of US Sports at FirstSportz. He currently crafts topics going on the diamonds of Major League Baseball (MLB), the icy arenas of National Hockey League (NHL) and the greens of Golf.
A journalism graduate from Mumbai, Vinay can spotted passionately supporting Manchester City, watching some action-packed anime or singing along to the melodies of Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi and Freddie Mercury in his free time.
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