Amnesty International has requested a meeting with the Premier League regarding the takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi Arabia-backed consortium. Sasha Deshmukh, Amnesty boss has asked Premier League chief executive Richard Masters to discuss changes in the top flight owners and directors test. The takeover caused widespread criticism over the Middle East country’s human rights record. Amnesty labeled the deal as “an extremely bitter blow for human rights defenders”.
“The way the Premier League waved this deal through raises a host of deeply troubling questions about sports washing, about human rights and sport, and about the integrity of English football.” Amnesty International boss Sasha Deshmukh said after the takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United. “How can it be right that the Premier League’s current owners’ and directors’ test have nothing whatsoever to say about human rights? 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 own rules to prevent those implicated in serious human rights violations from buying into the passion and glamour of English football,” she added. “We hope that Richard Masters will see that making the football’s ownership rules human rights-compliant can only be for the long-term good of the game. However, the speedy finalizing of the deal last week has lent new impetus to calls on the league to urgently update its ownership rules. ”