– The process of acquiring Newcastle United by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Muhammad bin Salman, is now entering a new phase. There is a third party who tries to frustrate the ideals of the prince.
As reported previously, Muhammad bin Salman through his Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) company will take over 80 percent of Newcastle. Funds of no less than 300 million pounds (Rp. 5.7 trillion) have been prepared to smooth out the plan.
It was Qatar, through BeIN Sports as the British Premier League broadcasting rights holder for the Middle East and North Africa region, who requested the cancellation. Because Saudi Arabia has been blamed for piracy on soccer broadcasts since 2017.
BeIN Sport claims, their actions have caused huge losses through its support for services streamed illegal. Arabsat, a company owned by the government of Saudi Arabia, which has been providing the platform for the hijacking of a soccer broadcast called beoutQ.
With Arabsat's support, beoutQ hijacked broadcasts of matches by BeIN Sports, including the English Premier League. This matter, the BeIN Sport actually has taken legal action, but always deadlocked.
Qatar, which has fought a cold war with Saudi Arabia, seems to have begun to become inflamed. They have even written to the authority of the English Premier League and 20 contestant clubs to reject the plan to buy Newcastle United by Muhammad bin Salman.
“As long-time partners and big investors in the Premier League, we urge to consider all the processes of the sale. Starting from the director, employees, and all those involved, '' said CEO of beIN Media Group, Yousef Al-Obaidly, quoted by The Sun..
“This also refers to the theft of the intellectual property of the Premier League by Saudi Arabia which is notorious. So there is a strong reason why the investigation must be carried out, '' he added.
Certainly Saudi Arabia's actions have made Qatar mad. Because they have poured no less than 500 million pounds (IDR 8.5 trillion) to establish cooperation with the English Premier League for the next three years.
Before the protest from Qatar, the English Premier League also received a letter from Amnesty International, which contained almost the same contents. However, Amnesty International places more emphasis on football as a venue for sportswashing.
That is, Saudi Arabia intends to use soccer as a front to clear the track record of human rights violations. One of them is about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was claimed to be masterminded by Muhammad bin Salman.