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06th Jun 2023

The day Saudi Arabia bought world golf: Reactions flood in to shock merger

Jack Peat

Is this the first takeover of an entire sport?

Saudi Arabia has proved it has the “sporting world at its feet” after PGA caved to its sworn enemy, LIV Golf.

Writing in the Telegraph, Tom Morgan described the tour’s decision to cosy up to its fierce rival as the “biggest reverse ferret in the history of golf”.

But he cautioned that the message for the rest of sport was even more profound.

“For all the cries of sportswashing and political dissent, this was another milestone to prove Saudi has the sporting world at its feet.”

Reaction to the merger has been quick to flood in, with Oliver Holt describing golf as “the latest domino to fall in Saudi Arabia’s attempt to use sport to sluice away its abuses”.

“Everything we were told we should hate about LIV, we will now be told is wonderful”, he wrote.

Tour players seemed similarly bemused.

Two-time major championship winner Collin Morikawa tweeted: “I love finding out morning news on Twitter”, while talkSPORT presenter Georgie Bingham described it as a “very dark day for golf”.

News that Newcastle United chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan will also sit in the top seat of the newly created PGA/ LIV golf entity has also prompted concern.

Al-Rumayyan was involved in the transfer of assets to PIF in the wake of the Saudi Arabian government’s 2017 purge.

He transferred 20 companies that had been seized by the government into the PIF, including one later alleged to be used by Saudi operatives in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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