'Financially driven' FIFA will remain ‘unmoved’ by Saudi journalist death, says sports author

FIFA will remain ‘unmoved’ by Saudi journalist death because it is ‘financially driven’, says sports author

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sports author Ed Warner has said that FIFA’s President will remain “unmoved” by the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi because it is driven “by financial gain”.

Mr Warner, the author of ‘Sport Inc: Why Money is the Winner in the Business of Sport’ told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes: “I hardly think they have hit the buffers, because if you read about [FIFA president] Gianni Infantino, he has been cosying up to the Saudis and Japanese to fund a new global game.

“I would think he is unmoved about what has been going on in Saudi in the last week.

“He is clearly almost immune to the outrage of much of the world.

“Look at FIFA holding their meeting Rwanda, again, not a country with the greatest human rights record."

He added: “It is a controversial organisation and seems to some people to be driven purely by financial gain.

“Often that follows into financial gain for its sponsors and not by what is doing what is right by the sport.

“I think this one is going to run and run, I don’t think a little flurry of revulsion, rightly so on the back of the journalist’s murder, is going to stop this in its tracks.

“I think we are going to talk about it for some time to come.”


Saudi claims were 'not credible' 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino sat next to Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

FIFA’s proposals for a revamped Club World Cup has been criticised over reports that Saudi Arabia is contributing large portions of the $12 billion funding.

The FIFA President has met with the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and his son the Crown Prince four times in the past year.

This comes after Saudi journalist Mr Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The UK has condemn the killing of Mr Khashoggi and has said that Saudi claims he died in a fight were “not credible”.


'There has been an assertive effort' 

Khalifa International Stadium, the 2022 FIFA World Cup venue in Qatar. 

Mr Warner added that investment from the Middle East was not just in football, but across a range of sports.

He said: “It is across a whole range of sports and if you look at the Middle East eyeing up big sporting events and clubs for a number of years now.

“Qatar led the way with the United Arab Emirates not far behind and you see Manchester City owned a bit by Middle Eastern owners.

“We have got the Football World Cup going to Qatar and we have the Athletics World Championships going there next year.

“So there has been an assertive effort by the owners of the world’s oil and gas to try and use that money to buy power, influence and prestige, and to make themselves look more appealing to a global audience.”