Norman, who leads the Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational series which kicks off next month at the Centurion Club in St Albans, was inevitably faced with several questions over sportswashing charges at a media launch event.
Asked specifically about the murder of dissident journalist Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, which a UN and CIA special rapporteur said was sanctioned directly by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Norman said: “Everyone everyone recognized it, didn’t they?
“It was discussed, from what I read, from what you reported. Take ownership, whatever it is.
“Listen, we’ve all made mistakes and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can fix them in the future.”
Bin Salman, who is the chairman of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund that funds LIV Golf, denied the allegation. Norman said he never spoke to the crown prince, but on Tuesday he announced that LIV had received $2 billion in additional funding to create a 14-event global golf league in 2024 that would compete directly with the PGA Tour.
“I had no personal connection with MBS, I never even met the guy,” he said. “But at the same time, I read that the Saudi government has made its statements on this and wants to move forward.”
The two-time Open champion was also flustered when asked about the execution of 81 men in Saudi Arabia on March 12.
“I got a lot of messages, but honestly, I can’t wait,” he said. “I don’t look back. I don’t look at the politics of things. I’m not going to get into the quagmire of whatever’s going on in someone else’s world. I heard about it and kept going.
When asked if he had any gay friends who had expressed concerns about his association with Saudi Arabia, Norman replied: “I don’t even know if I even have gay friends, to be honest with you. you.”
Just hours before Norman meets the media at the Centurion Club, the LIV Invitational Series reached another turbulent stage as it was revealed that the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, formerly known as the European Tour, had rejected players’ requests for releases. participate in the $25 million event.
Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Martin Kaymer are among those who had requested releases to be on the pitch on June 9, but they could now face fines or bans from their respective tours. they choose to play.
Norman said that 36 of the 40 players currently entered in the first tournament are ranked in the top 150 in the world and have pledged to “defend, reimburse and represent them” in the event of sanctions and added that LIV Golf has injunctions ” ready to go”.
“We are going to support the players,” Norman said. “It will be the player’s choice. I’m not going to blame a player who makes the decision to play where he wants. We give them the opportunity because we think LIV is here for a long time.
“If you want to go exclusively to the PGA Tour, happy days, go for it. I guarantee that a lot of people will end up coming to play with LIV Golf.
“I said to the players, ‘we support you, it’s as simple as that’. We will defend, we will reimburse and we will represent.
‘We’ve all made mistakes’: Greg Norman sparks outrage as he comments on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder
Source link ‘We’ve all made mistakes’: Greg Norman sparks outrage as he comments on Jamal Khashoggi’s murder