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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Saudi Arabia: Heavy rain: Possible Ronaldo debut postponed

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A possible debut for Cristiano Ronaldo literally falls through in Saudi Arabia. A human rights organization demands a clear stance from the superstar.

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Saudi club Al-Nassr’s first game after superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s commitment has been postponed by a day due to heavy rain. The club announced this on Twitter.

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The power supply in the stadium was affected by the weather conditions. The home game against Al-Ta’ee was originally scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. CET.

However, it is unclear whether Ronaldo can be used at all. The background is a two-game ban that the English Football Association imposed on the five-time world footballer on November 23 because he had slapped a mobile phone out of a fan’s hand. Ronaldo had shortly thereafter terminated his contract with Manchester United and could no longer serve the ban.

According to the FIFA Statutes, a ban usually passes to the new club. When asked, the world football association referred to its rules and the Saudi association. However, it is uncertain whether the penalty will be taken over by the Saudi Pro League.

Ronaldo was unveiled at Al-Nassr on Tuesday, where he had signed a two-and-a-half-year contract. According to media reports, the five-time world footballer, including advertising revenue, should get the equivalent of around 200 million euros per season.

Amnesty International demands a clear position from Ronaldo

Following Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr, Amnesty International asked the star to comment on the human rights situation there. “Rather than praising Saudi Arabia without criticism, Ronaldo should use his considerable public reach to draw attention to human rights issues in the country,” said Dana Ahmed, Amnesty International’s Middle East researcher. Almost 530 million people follow Ronaldo on Instagram alone.

In a statement, the human rights organization accused Saudi Arabia of sportswashing, i.e. trying to improve its image by investing in sport. The commitment of the 37-year-old world footballer should distract from human rights problems in the country, wrote Amnesty. “Cristiano Ronaldo should not allow his fame and fame to become a tool of Saudi sportswashing,” said Ahmed. People are regularly executed in the country for crimes such as murder, rape and drug smuggling. According to Amnesty International, 81 people were executed in just one day in Saudi Arabia last year.

Source: Stern

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