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Amnesty International Urges EPL To Look Into ‘Human Rights Violations’ By Newcastle Owners After Saudi-Led PIF Takeover


Amnesty International, UK has written to the Premier League to look into the ‘human rights violations’ by the new owners of the Premier League club, Newcastle United. A consortium back by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia completed the takeover of the English Premier League club.

Amnesty International has written to the Premier League “to change their owners’ and directors’ test to address human rights issues” as reported by The Athletic. 

Also Read | Saudi Arabia-Backed Consortium Takeover English Football Club – Newcastle United | Mohammed Bin Salman

PIF, along with PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media (the “Investment Group”) has completed the takeover of the club, Newcastle United on 7 October 2021. The club made an announcement in a statement on their official website. 

“The phrase ‘human rights’ doesn’t even appear in the owners’ and directors’ test despite English football supposedly adhering to FIFA standards. We’ve sent the Premier League a suggested new human rights-compliant test and we reiterate our call on them to overhaul their standards on this,” said Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s CEO. 

“Under Mohammed bin Salman, the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia remains dire – with government critics, women’s rights campaigners, Shia activists and human defenders still being harassed and jailed, often after blatantly unfair trials,” she added.

Saudi Arabia is accused in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The behind-the-door trial of his murder raised a lot of eyebrows and tainted KSA’s reputation. The KSA is also accused of crimes in war-torn Yemen. 

She also added that Premier League is known for campaigns like ‘No Room For Racism’, ‘Black Lives Matter’, and ‘Rainbow Laces’. The takeover of Newcastle United’s new owners makes “a mockery of these important campaigns” said Deshmukh.

“We are asking the Premier League and its Chief Executive Richard Masters to examine closely its moral compass,” she added. 





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