Nick Kyrgios to participate at heavily criticized Saudi Arabian exhibition

Nick Kyrgios to participate at heavily criticized Saudi Arabian exhibition

by Balasz Virag

Last updated

Nick Kyrgios will compete at the 2022 Diriyah Tennis Cup that will be held in Saudi Arabia from December 8th until 10th.

After the best season of his career, the 27-years-old Australian signed up for various exhibition events. Recently, he played in Mexico against Cameron Norrie and should also participate in Dubai at the World Tennis League. However, already in three weeks, Nick Kyrgios should take part also at the 2022 Diriyah Tennis Cup. When joining the start-studded player field, he said:

“At the end of my outstanding season 2022 I’m excited to play at the Diriyah Tennis Cup. I’m looking forward to getting to know the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and especially to having fun with the other players and showing the fans some really entertaining tennis,” said Nick Kyrgios.

Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka, Taylor Fritz and Cameron Norrie are the seven players that will also compete in Saudi Arabia and it was the last player on the list that was heavily criticized for joining the event.

When Cameron Norrie joined the event, Felix Jakens, Amnesty International UK’s Head of Priority Campaigns, said: “We were never going to be telling people like Cameron Norrie where they should or shouldn’t play tennis, but by appearing in Diriyah, Cameron should realise he’s effectively being deliberately hired in to take part in the latest jamboree of Saudi sportswashing."

“Cameron has a big platform and genuine influence, and he should use this to show solidarity with people like Selma al-Shehab who are being cruelly persecuted in Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, 81 people were executed in a single day in Saudi Arabia, we’ve recently seen Twitter users like the Leeds student Salma al-Shehab given huge jail sentences, and there’s been no accountability for the shocking murder of Jamal Khashoggi."

“What Saudi Arabia appears to look for with these competitions is a smiling high-profile sports star who will studiously avoid talking about human rights - Cameron should speak out.”


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