After completing his lucrative transfer to Al-Nassr, Cristiano Ronaldo has been urged to speak out against human rights issues in Saudi Arabia.
After completing his lucrative transfer to Al-Nassr, Cristiano Ronaldo has been urged to speak out against human rights issues in Saudi Arabia. The Portuguese superstar claimed he wanted to “be part of the success of the country and the culture of the country” as he arrived at Al-Mrsool Nassr’s Park stadium on Tuesday to loud cheers and fireworks. After giving an inflammatory interview in which he criticised the team and manager Erik ten Hag, the 37-year-old left Manchester United in November.
Ronaldo’s signing, according to Amnesty International, is a part of a “wider pattern of sportswashing” in Saudi Arabia.
The former Real Madrid forward joins a Saudi push into sports including golf, boxing, tennis, and Formula 1 in addition to football, which began with the buying of English Premier League team Newcastle United in 2021.
Additionally, the Gulf state is considering a combined bid to co-host the 2030 World Cup.
Ronaldo need to use his huge public platform to raise awareness of Saudi Arabia’s problems with human rights, according to Amnesty International’s Middle East expert Dana Ahmed.
“Saudi Arabia frequently puts people to death for crimes like murder, rape, and drug trafficking. Last year, 81 people were executed on a single day, many of them had suffered egregiously unfair trials.
“Human rights advocates, proponents of women’s rights, and other political activists have been given harsh prison sentences as part of the government’ ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression and association.
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“Cristiano Ronaldo must resist the temptation to use his notoriety and celebrity to further Saudi Arabia’s sportswashing. He need to use his time at Al Nassr to advocate for the many different human rights issues facing the nation.”