Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 02:13:10 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

First Saudi ladies golf title draws 'sportswashing' charges

photo by

Emily Pedersen celebrates with the trophy after winning the inaugural Saudi Ladies International title on Sunday.

By
17th-Nov-2020       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

AFP, Saudi Arabia :
Denmark's Emily Pedersen won the first ever women's golf tournament in Saudi Arabia in a tense playoff, but the event designed to soften the kingdom's austere image has drawn charges of being a "sportswashing" exercise.
With a birdie on the extra hole, Pedersen edged out England's Georgia Hall and secured the $150,000 winner's cheque in the inaugural Saudi Ladies International on Sunday at the King Abdullah Economic City close to the western city of Jeddah.
"I'm so happy to be the first winner of this event," Pedersen said in a statement.
"It's been such a fantastic experience to be here in Saudi Arabia."
But Amnesty International and other rights groups said the event glossed over Saudi's poor human rights record and the jailing of several women activists who have called for reforms.
The appearance of female golfers, dressed in casual T-shirts and trousers, is a striking anomaly in Saudi Arabia, an ultra-conservative Muslim nation that has long imposed a strict dress code on women.
As part of a sweeping liberalisation drive, de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has accelerated investment in glitzy sports and entertainment events in a bid to improve its reputation.
In March, the kingdom hosted the world's richest horse race, after staging the Italian and Spanish football Super Cups last year.
It already hosts the Dakar Rally, a 12-day marathon through the Arabian desert, and the all-electric Formula E series, in addition to an array of boxing, golf and tennis events.
And this month, Saudi Arabia announced it will host a Formula One Grand Prix for the first time in 2021.
The expanded sporting schedule is part of a push to draw more international tourists, business and investment, as the kingdom embarks on reforms designed to lessen its reliance on oil revenues.
But critics have accused the country's rulers of "sportswashing" to improve their image after long being condemned over rights abuses.
"Saudi citizens and residents should enjoy top-notch entertainment and sporting events, but they also should enjoy basic rights such as free expression and peaceful assembly," said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
"So, when Hollywood A-listers, international athletes, and other global celebrities take government money to perform in Saudi Arabia while staying silent on the government's atrocious rights record, they are boosting the kingdom's strategy of whitewashing Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's abuses."
Alexandra Armas, CEO of the Ladies European Tour, shrugged off the criticism and said that taking the opportunity to bring the game to Saudi was an "easy decision".
"We did discuss it with our members how they would feel about coming to play in Saudi, and it was very accepted," she told AFP.
Maha Haddioui, a Moroccan and the first Arab professional on the Ladies European Tour, said she was thrilled to be playing in the event and to help write "a new page of history in Saudi."
"I got a lot of messages from young Saudi women telling me how does it work if I want to start golf… so just being part of this, for me it's a winning week."


Tariff

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Business & Economy »

NLI gets new Chairman


Business Desk :Renowned industrialist and entrepreneur Morshed Alam, has been elected as the new chairman of National Life Insurance Company Limited. The declaration came out from 259th board of directors meeting of the company held on Sunday through digital platform, said a press release.Morshed Alam is a Sponsor Director of ...

Editorial »

Farmers should be included in govt food procurement drive


FARMERS who receive agricultural loans should be included in the government's food procurement drive on priority basis, a study report recommended. The smallholder farmers, who could get loan under the government's agricultural credit disbursement facility, should have access to sell rice, paddy and wheat to the food directorate, it said.The ...

City »

Bangladesh Customs, Excise and VAT Executive Officers Association stages a demonstration in front of Revenue Office in the city on Monday in protest against rude behavior of Joint Commissioner of Pangaon Customs House Lutfur Kabir with Revenue officers.


Football »

Messi, Barcelona remember Maradona in winning style


AFP, Madrid :Barcelona on Sunday followed the advice of coach Ronald Koeman and paid tribute to their former player Diego Maradona with an emphatic return to form in La Liga and a 4-0 victory over Osasuna.Maradona, who played two seasons for Barca, died on Wednesday aged 60.Before the match, the ...

Entertainment »

Vidya Balan`s film shoot halted after rejecting Minister’s invitation


Bollywood actress Vidya Balan has landed in hot soup after her film’s shooting reportedly came to a halt after she turned down an invitation to dinner from a state minister. Vidya Balan is currently filming for her upcoming film Sherni in Madhya Pradesh. For the past few weeks, she has ...

International »

Australia demands apology from China for fake image


Reuters, Sydney :Australia demanded an apology after a senior Chinese official posted a fake image of an Australian soldier holding a knife with blood on it to the throat of an Afghan child, calling it "truly repugnant" and demanding it be taken down.Prime Minister Scott Morrison called a media briefing ...

Editorial »

Dhaka-Sylhet 4-lane project must complete in time


THE impasse over the financing of the Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane project is now over as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has given its consent to provide fund for the project, aimed at making the highway suitable for regional connectivity as well as cross-border and regional trade. The highway will also have ...

International »

DRDO ready with anti-drone system for Indian armed forces


Hindustan Times, New Delhi :The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has designated Bharat Electronics as the lead agency for development and production of much needed anti-drone system for the armed forces.It is understood that anti-drone systems are now a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security detail at his ...

Football »

Neymar hits 50 Ligue 1 goals as PSG draw with Bordeaux


Agency :Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) dropped points for the second Ligue 1 game in a row when they were held to a 2-2 home draw by Girondins de Bordeaux on Saturday, as Neymar reached a milestone by scoring his 50th goal in the league.Timothee Pembele's own goal put Bordeaux ahead and ...

Entertainment »

Farhana Mili in Victory Day`s special drama


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :When International Mother Language Day, Independence Day and Victory Day come special dramas are to be made by the directors. But in case of number which is not more than Eid occasions. In fact, some directors have intention to make exceptional dramas on the occasion of these ...

Editorial »

Do not blame the minister it is the our inherent slavishness that is to be blamed


A REPORT in The New Nation on Saturday said a city hospital doors were closed for about two hours barring outdoor patients from entering the hospital to seek treatment in the peak morning hours on Thursday last. It happened because the Health Minister attended an event inside the hospital to ...

Football »

Rare Joelinton strike helps Newcastle seal late win at Palace


Agency :Perseverance finally paid off for Newcastle United's Brazilian forward Joelinton as he shrugged off a night of frustration to help his side to a 2-0 victory at Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Friday.The 24-year-old's Newcastle career is yet to take off after his 40 million pounds move ...

Business & Economy »

Mohammed Monirul Moula, Additional Managing Director of Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited, inaugurating its Cash Recycling Machine Booth at Basundhara Residential Area in the capital recently. Mizanur Rahman, Senior Executive Vice President and Md Mozahidul Islam, Head of Baridhara Branch, among others, were present.


City »

Councillor of 26 No Ward of DSCC Hasibur Rahman Manik, among others, offers Munajat after placing floral wreaths at the grave of Mayor Mohammad Hanif at Azimpur Graveyard in the city on Saturday on the occasion of the latter's 14th death anniversary.


City »

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Tajul Islam speaks at a discussion on 'Development & Industrialization of Chattogram and Future Plan' organised by World Trade Center in Chattogram on Saturday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news