Games

Messi is the ambassador of Saudi Arabia

Lionel Messi posted a picture on Instagram yesterday. Pictures of enjoying the beauty of the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia. At the time, many thought that the PSG star might have gone on holiday to Saudi Arabia.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

He is, of course, but Messi has also done the job of ‘selling bananas while watching the chariot’. The country has chosen Messi as the official tourism ambassador of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed al-Khateb announced Messi’s name as tomorrow’s envoy.

The Argentine star landed at Jeddah Airport tomorrow with PSG and Argentine teammate Leandro Pardes and family members. According to the Saudi Gazette, the seven-time best footballer of the year has been given a royal reception by the Saudi authorities.

Ahmed al-Khateb, the country’s tourism minister, announced on Twitter that Messi would be the tourism ambassador in Arabic, “Welcome to Lionel Messi and his friends in Saudi Arabia. Enjoy the beauty of the Red Sea with you and tell us our rich history. This is not Messi’s first trip to Saudi Arabia, nor his last. I am happy to announce Messi as Saudi tourism ambassador.

Messi on a pleasure trip to the Red Sea with PSG and national teammate Paredes
Messi on a pleasure trip to the Red Sea with PSG and national teammate ParedesPhoto: Twitter
However, Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is the administrative head of Qatar Sports Investment (QSI), which owns Messi’s club PSG. Although Nasser Al Khelaifi is the chairman of QSI, the Emir of Qatar is the last word of the company. Qatar has had bad diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia for many years. So it is a matter of wondering how the PSG, which is Messi’s tourism ambassador to Saudi Arabia, will look.

However, Messi’s visit to Saudi Arabia as a sports ambassador has been welcomed by many. Sami Al-Jaber, who represented Saudi Arabia at the 1998 World Cup and former Al-Hilal forward, tweeted: “It is a great step to have Messi as Saudi Arabia’s tourism ambassador.”

The British media Telegraph reported last February that Messi had been offered an ambassador by the Saudi Tourism Board.

Many of those arrested and tortured by the Saudi monarchy at the time were denied access to Messi in a letter sent to him by human rights group Grant Liberty.

In the letter, Messi was told, “You are the inspiration of millions, your words and deeds are very important to many … The Saudi administration wants to use you for its own good.” Detainees arrested in Saudi Arabia have been tortured and held for months. Anyone speaking out against the Saudi regime has to accept long-term captivity. In some cases death penalty is also given. If you (Messi) agree to go to Saudi Arabia, you agree to the kind of human rights that are being violated in modern Saudi Arabia. But if not, everyone will get a message together – human rights are important.

Messi went to Saudi Arabia for the fourth time. The Argentine forward played in a friendly match against Saudi Arabia at King Fahad Stadium in 2011. He also faced Brazil in Saudi in the Super Clিকsico Cup. Atletico Madrid played a match against Saudi Arabia in 2020.

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