Khashoggi's Fiancée Criticizes Saudi Takeover of Newcastle United

The fiancée of the Saudi murdered journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, criticizes Newcastle United and English football.

  • Cengiz said the £300 million ($408 million) takeover deal was
    Cengiz said the £300 million ($408 million) takeover deal was "heartbreaking" and disappointing for her.

Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, criticized Friday the takeover of Newcastle United by a Saudi-led consortium, accusing the English Premier League football club of only thinking of money.

Cengiz said the £300 million ($408 million) takeover deal was "heartbreaking" and disappointing for her and that it was “a real shame for Newcastle and for English football” that the club was now “owned by the person responsible for the murder of Jamal.”

"It seems like they (Newcastle fans) don't care about what happened to Jamal, they just care about the financial future," Cengiz told BBC radio.

Western intelligence agencies accuse Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of authorizing the murder of the Washington Post contributor that was killed in 2018 inside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

However, human rights issues were disregarded and the deal was welcomed by Newcastle fans outside their St James' Park stadium.

"They have got human rights issues. Everyone knows that. But we need this. We need it so bad," said one Newcastle fan.

The arrival of Saudi money at the struggling club in northeast England has been met with warnings from experts and human rights groups. 

Madawi Al-Rasheed, a visiting professor at the Middle East Centre of the London School of Economics, said bin Salman would, without doubt, be involved in decisions at the club.

The academic also said the prince would look to use the Premier League to rehabilitate his and the Gulf kingdom's image after abuses such as the Khashoggi killing.

"Britain could become a platform for the dictators of this world," Al-Rasheed said. "It's a major decision that has to be discussed at a very high level in government in this country." 

Amnesty International has condemned the Premier League's decision to give the green light to the takeover, accusing Saudi Arabia of using its involvement in English football to "sportswash" its poor human rights record.