Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi resist big-money to advertise for Saudi Arabia

January 25, 2021

To all those who have been campaigning against sports washing, the latest news regarding Saudi Arabia missing out on football stars Ronaldo and Messi must come as a relief.

Alan Feehely – reports on in Football Espana that Cristiano Ronaldo has rejected an offer to advertise tourism in Saudi Arabia according to The Telegraph and carried by Marca.

The Portuguese was offered a reported figure of €6m per year. The agreement would have required Ronaldo to feature in commercial campaigns and visit the country. Lionel Messi also received an offer from Saudi Arabia, but like his great rival didn’t accept.

Through its “Visit Saudi” campaign it aims to become an attractive tourist destination, and enlisting the help of famous footballers would help in this greatly. [see also https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2021/01/11/new-low-in-saudi-sports-washing-fifa-leader-stars-in-saudi-pr-video/]

Saudi Arabia are trying to improve their image internationally, using sport as a principal tool. The country held last year’s Supercopa de Espana in Jeddah, with Madrid winning out ahead of Barcelona, Valencia and Atletico Madrid. The tournament caused quite the stir in the country. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2019/05/22/andrew-anderson-the-dangerous-game-of-sportswashing/

https://www.football-espana.net/2021/01/23/cristiano-ronaldo-and-lionel-messi-reject-big-money-offer-to-advertise-for-saudi-arabia

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