Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have come under scrutiny for their apparent attempts to “sportswash” their public perception by using their Public Investment Fund to sponsor sports across the country – like LIV Golf and the addition of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo to the nation’s soccer league. But bin Salman does not seem to be worried about that criticism.
During a recent interview with Fox News, Salman bin Salman had quite a bold response to the “sportswashing” allegations, making it pretty clear that he does not care about the criticism.
In fact, bin Salman actually announced that the country will “continue doing sportswashing.”
“Well if sportswashing is going to increase my GDP by 1 percent, then we’ll continue doing sportwashing,” Bin Salman told Fox News about the sportswashing claims. “I don’t care. I have 1 percent growth in GDP from sport and I’m aiming for another 1-and-a-half percent, call it whatever you want, we’re going to get that 1-and-a-half percent.”
Based on these comments, it’s quite clear that bin Salman sees nothing wrong with what the country is doing, and he has no plans to stop as long as it is financially beneficial to Saudi Arabia.