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Golf: Fitzsimons Goes For Greg’s Jugular

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

‘The idea is for poxy and despotic regimes to put big money behind hosting and sponsoring glitzy international sports events, so that instead of the world thinking they are a poxy, despotic regime who abuse human rights, who arrest and torture dissidents and treat their own citizenry with an appalling lack of base-level humanity ... they might be half-decent because, you know, the golf, the Formula One, the tennis!’

Peter Fitzsimons better known to most Kiwis as an Australian rugby player and oftimes critic of aspects of the New Zealand rugby scene, turns the spotlight on fellow countryman, Greg Norman.

Peter writes, ‘This week, Saudi interests announced plans for a new 10-tournament series on the Asian Tour from 2022, backed by $200 million in prizemoney over the next 10 years. And who would the frontman be?

Well, that would be our own Greg Norman, as the new chief executive of LIV Golf Investments...’

 When asked, “Do you have any concerns as to where the money is coming from, and specifically the Saudi Arabian connection?”
Greg replied, “I made the journey there to look at what was happening in Saudi Arabia before I made any decision on anything because I’m not a person who makes judgement calls.”

Alas Peter has not interviewed Greg but has this in mind, ‘How can you take money from a regime that engages in murder and torture, all for something so ephemeral as golf?’

For the record it’s called, ‘Sport-washing’ and in this case, an example of a country trying to reboot their reputations and distract audiences from their horrific human-rights records and $200 million in prizemoney over the next 10 years is where it will be used in the golf world.

Link to Peter Fitzsimons


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