Saudi Arabia will “undoubtedly” support its private sector bids to buy historic English clubs Manchester United or Liverpool, Saudi Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal said Friday.
“I can’t talk about the private sector, but the interest and appetite for football is very high,” the minister told the BBC. “We will certainly support the arrival of a private player as we know it will have a positive impact on sport in the kingdom,” added Prince Abdulaziz.
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Saudi Arabia, which has been widely criticized by human rights groups for its achievements in this area, last year bought English club Newcastle United, currently ranked third in the Premier League, thanks to a consortium that includes a Saudi investment fund. PCP Capital Partners and brothers David and Simon Reuben.
Manchester United’s American owners caused a stir this week by revealing they were considering selling the club, just hours after the 37-year-old Ronaldo’s departure was announced. Liverpool’s owners, also Americans, have said they are open to new shareholders, but have not confirmed reports of the sale of the club.
After Ronaldo told British television that he had turned down a €350 million offer to join a Saudi club, Prince Abdulaziz said: “Anything is possible, I would like Ronaldo to play in our league. »
“This will benefit the league, the Saudi sports ecosystem and inspire young people for the future. He is a role model for many children and has a lot of fans in Saudi Arabia,” he continued.
Prince Abdulaziz also said that Saudi Arabia’s chances of bidding for the World Cup would increase if it wins the right to host the Women’s and Men’s Asian Cups in 2026 and 2027.
The country is in talks with Egypt and Greece about a transcontinental bid to host the 2030 FIFA World Cup, an Egyptian official said in September. “Every country in the world would like to host the World Cup,” the prince said.