Newcastle – Amnesty International urges Premier League to ‘address human rights issues’ in owners and directors test

Amnesty International has told the Premier League it needs to “better understand the dynamics of sports washing” as the Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United draws to a close.

Premier League approval for the £ 300million buyout could come on Thursday, after the body was convinced that a consortium, not the Saudi state, would control the club.

This development allowed the takeover to pass the test of the owners and managers of the league.

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However, Amnesty International has urged the Premier League to revise these checks and balances to include a reference to human rights issues.

“Instead of allowing those involved in serious human rights violations to enter English football just because their pockets are full, we have urged the Premier League to change the test of their owners and managers to address the human rights issues, ”said the Director General of Amnesty International. , said Sacha Deshmukh.

“The phrase ‘human rights’ does not even appear in the owners and managers test despite the fact that English football supposedly adheres to Fifa standards. We have sent the Premier League a proposal. new human rights test and we reiterate our call to review their standards in this regard.

The Premier League needs to better understand the dynamics of sportswashing and tighten its ownership rules.

“As with Formula 1, elite boxing, golf or tennis, an association with top level football is a very attractive way to rename a country or a person with a tarnished reputation. The Premier League needs to understand better. the dynamics of sportwashing and tighten its ownership rules. “

On Wednesday, it was reported that Saudi Arabia had reached a deal with Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Sports, which owns Premier League TV rights in the Middle East.

But, as the Public Investment Fund (PIF), which will provide 80% of the funds needed to secure the deal, was seen as a separate entity from the Saudi state, piracy issues are no longer an obstacle. to the takeover.

The proposed buyout would end Mike Ashley’s often turbulent and moody 14-year reign as owner of Newcastle.

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