Newcastle United ridiculed over hosting Saudi Arabia friendlies

Newcastle United ridiculed over hosting Saudi Arabia friendlies
Why Everyone's Wrong About Newcastle United

Newcastle United have announced that they will host the Saudi Arabia football team for two games during September - a move which has been met with widespread criticism.

Newcastle United's fabled St James' Park ground will be the 'home' stadium for the Green Falcons as they take on Costa Rica on September 8th before facing South Korea on 12th September.

The Magpies' majority investors happen to be the Public Investment Fund (PIF) that manages a gargantuan pile of Saudi wealth through various high-profile investments, including Newcastle United.

After the Premier League granted permission for PIF to takeover Newcastle United from Mike Ashley in 2021, the league was given 'legally-binding assurances' that the PIF was separate from the Saudi state, despite the PIF arguing in court (in an unrelated case) that they were, in fact, a "sovereign instrumentality of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

And with Saudi Arabia visiting Newcastle for their international friendlies, it has resurfaced discussions over the PIF and Saudi state linkup.

A mixed reaction followed Newcastle's announcement - with plenty pouring on their disdain:

A few others supported the move - proudly mentioning 'state ownership' of the club.

If the Saudi team manages to forget their kit - they'll be able to borrow Newcastle United's ringer - a green strip which uses colours very close to that of Saudi Arabia.

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