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LGBT+ fan groups alliance criticises Newcastle takeover

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Oct 9 (Reuters) – Pride in Football, the alliance of LGBT+ supporters’ groups in Britain, criticised Newcastle United’s takeover by a Saudi Arabia-led consortium and referred to as for reforms to the Premier League’s house owners’ and administrators’ check.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) — chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman — now owns 80% of the membership, with the remainder divided between RB Sports & Media and PCP Capital Partners, whose chief government, Amanda Staveley, led the takeover. learn extra

Before the takeover was introduced, Amnesty International had urged the Premier League to alter its house owners’ and administrators’ check to handle human rights points and stop “sportswashing”. learn extra

“We have significant concerns, alongside human rights organisations such as Amnesty International, about the treatment of LGBT+ people in Saudi Arabia and other countries worldwide,” Pride in Football mentioned in a statement on Saturday.

“It is evident that the new ownership of Newcastle United have close links to, and in some cases are, the same people who lead the oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia.

“The footballing authorities have critical and vital inquiries to reply in permitting house owners and sponsors to make use of soccer golf equipment as commodities to ‘sports wash’ and ‘rainbow wash’ their remedy of LGBT+ folks, girls and different minorities.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and Amnesty International questioned how the Premier League can go ahead with campaigns like “Rainbow Laces”, an initiative it launched with LGBTQ+ rights group Stonewall to promote diversity and equality.

On Friday, Newcastle United’s official LGBTQ+ supporters’ group said they were hopeful that the club’s takeover could have a “constructive affect” in the Saudi Arabia and improve conditions for LGBTQ+ people there. read more

Staveley denied that the acquisition was designed to “sportswash” Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, saying the deal would rebuild the club into a winning team. read more

However, Pride in Football expressed solidarity with LGBT+ fans who would see the takeover as “an indication of the continuous damaged commitments to the human rights in sport”.

“It is our basic perception that no fan ought to be within the scenario that they need to resolve between supporting the membership they love and standing up for his or her rights or the rights of others,” the statement continued.

“We instantly referred to as for a extra thorough match and correct check for house owners and administrators… This takeover highlights how insufficient the present exams and buildings for soccer possession are on this nation — they’re merely not match for function.”

Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru
Editing by Christian Radnedge

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Soccer Football - Newcastle United Takeover - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - October 7, 2021 Fans react outside the stadium after Newcastle United announced takeover Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith

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