Greg Norman (68, Australia), head of LIV Golf, sponsored by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund (PIF), urged them to “focus on golf, not ‘white noise’.”
According to AFP on the 20th (Korean time), Norman had an interview with local media at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, South Australia, where the LIV Golf League 4th Tournament-Adelaide (total prize money of $25 million) was held. When asked if he had ever met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Prime Minister, regarding the human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, he drew the line, saying, “I have never.”메이저사이트
Crown Prince bin Salman serves as the president of the PIF, and LIV Golf was launched last year with the auspices of the PIF. Since its inception, the ripple effect has been enormous. LIV Golf took out some of the leading players of the American Professional Golf (PGA) Tour, showed a confrontation with the PGA Tour, divided the men’s golf ecosystem, and caused many changes such as prize money.
Because LIV Golf is funded by Saudi Arabia, it has not been free from controversies over human rights suppression, such as the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, and continues to this day. The so-called ‘sports washing’ controversy that Saudi Arabia launched LIV Golf to cover this controversy has also continued.
Regarding this, Norman said, “Human rights issues are not my job. What I do is build LIV golf and platform into a global tour,” he dismissed.
He added, “Golf is a force for good. They also build golf courses in third world and communist countries. So golf is a force that goes in a good direction.”
International human rights watchdog Human Rights Watch criticized “LIV golf as a ‘tool’ to improve Saudi Arabia’s international image” and “a blatant example of sports washing to cover up Saudi Arabia’s horrific human rights abuses” through ABC. .
But Norman doesn’t seem to care about these comments, saying, “I hope you forget about the ‘white noise’ everyone is talking about. LIV golf is of great help to the golf game and regional development,” he said, emphasizing the positive aspects.
“Hosting an event like this is an unparalleled economic opportunity,” said Prime Minister Peter Malinaskas of South Australia, Australia, where the venue is located. I think it’s a good thing for everyone,” defended Norman.
Meanwhile, this tournament is the first LIV golf tournament to be held in Norman’s home country, Australia.