Hatice Cengiz urges Premier League to intervene and stop Saudi sovereign fund from taking 80% stake in UK football club
Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancé Hatice Cengiz has asked the Premier League to stop the takeover of Newcastle United Football Club by the Saudi Arabian sovereign fund.
Her lawyer, Rodney Dixon, sent a letter to the League in Cengiz’s name asking to stop a Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund-led consortium from buying Newcastle Utd.
Cengiz shared the letter on Twitter and demanded that all steps possible be taken by the Premier League administration in order to prevent the acquisition.
“The Premier League should not allow someone like [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman, who has yet to face any accountability for the murder of my late fiancé, to be so involved in sports in the UK. Doing otherwise will greatly stain the reputation of the Premiere League and the UK,” the letter said.
“Football cannot be allowed to be part of this cover-up,” it added.
Amnesty International also objects
The UK director of Amnesty International, Kate Allen, last week demanded that the takeover be prevented in a letter to Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.
Asking why a Saudi fund would want to buy an English football club, her letter said “unless the Premier League pauses and looks seriously at the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, it risks becoming a patsy – a willing dupe of those trying to sportswash their abysmal human rights record.”
“Such positive associations with sporting events also distract attention from Saudi’s appalling human rights record, including the imprisonment and torture of women human rights defenders,” she added.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund, led by Mohammed bin Salman, bid some £300 million ($374 million) to take over Newcastle. If the transaction is approved, the fund will own 80% of the club.
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 2, 2018.
After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, weeks later, the Saudi administration admitted he was killed there, blaming a rogue group of Saudi operatives.
The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) reportedly determined with confidence that bin Salman directed Khashoggi’s murder.
*Writing by Firdevs Bulut