HomeSoccerSoccer Newcastle United: Amnesty International calls for Premier League meeting following takeover TV Channel

Soccer Newcastle United: Amnesty International calls for Premier League meeting following takeover TV Channel

Soccer Newcastle United: Amnesty International calls for Premier League meeting following takeover TV Channel

Amnesty International has written to Premier League chief executive to Richard Masters offering to discuss proposed human rights changes to football’s owners’ and directors’ test.

It comes after Newcastle’s takeover by a a Saudi Arabian-backed group.

The Premier League said the new owners were separate from the state.

But Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s chief executive, says the deal raised a number of “troubling questions”.

The takeover was 80% financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, whose chair is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

There are many human rights issues linked to the kingdom, but the Premier League says it has received legal assurances from the new owners that the Saudi state would not control Newcastle United and there would be punishments if it was proven otherwise.

“The way the Premier League waved this deal through raises a host of deeply troubling questions about sportswashing, about human rights and sport, and about the integrity of English football,” Deshmukh said.

“How can it be right that the Premier League’s current owners’ and directors’ test has nothing whatsoever to say about human rights?”

A fan-led review into English football and its governance is currently under way.

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston said recently that acquisitions of any team is “an issue for football”.

He said he expected a fit and proper test to be applied but added: “At the end of the day we’ve got to trust football to do its job and look after itself”.

Deshmukh added: “The events of last week will have lent even more urgency to the Government’s ongoing review of the governance of English football.

“Football is a global sport on a global stage – it urgently needs to update its ownership rules to prevent those implicated in serious human rights violations from buying into the passion and glamour of English football. “

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