Amnesty International was already unhappy with the hosting of the recent World Cup in Qatar, mainly because of the unsatisfactory working conditions for the workers involved in the construction of the stadiums. “Thousands of workers are stuck in a well-known cycle of abuse due to loopholes in the law,” declared Steve Cockburn, head of the Department for Economic and Social Justice at the time. The same organization then advised Ronaldo to draw attention to the problems there after moving to Saudi Arabia instead of uncritically praising the environment.
Even the exhibition match, for which the most expensive ticket ever cost around sixty million crowns, did not escape criticism. “This match is a reminder that Saudi Arabia’s sportswashing efforts are still in full swing,” said Peter Frankental, Amnesty International’s Director of Economic Affairs.
“The extensive use of sports as a tool of propaganda is very well known in Saudi Arabia, but by getting involved with the Qatari-owned PSG, two sportswashing giants have shown their strength,” added one of the leading representatives of the organization.
“The government of Saudi Arabia has executed up to 81 people per day after unfair trials. Players like Ronaldo or Messi have a huge name and we would like them to speak publicly about human rights issues in countries like Saudi Arabia or Qatar,” Frankental concluded.