Saudi Arabia to host the WTA Finals for next three years and provide record prize money-ZoomTech News

Criticism of the long-anticipated transfer to Saudi Arabia has been led by Navratilova and Evert, who wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Publish in January.

“Taking a event there would characterize a major step backward, to the detriment not simply of ladies’s sport, however girls,” the pair wrote.

Human Rights Watch advised the BBC in December that Saudi courts had convicted individuals for selling homosexuality on-line and added “LGBT individuals in Saudi Arabia must practise excessive self-censorship to outlive their each day lives”.

Daria Kasatkina, who’s in a same-sex relationship, is the one prime participant to have voiced opposition a couple of transfer to Saudi. Jabeur beforehand mentioned she could be “very excited” to play within the nation.

Critics say unprecedented spending on sport has been used to enhance the oil-producing kingdom’s fame over its human rights report and its environmental impression.

However the Saudi authorities says the funding is boosting the financial system, opening it as much as tourism and galvanizing individuals to be extra lively.

“We now have had direct discussions with the gamers, and a few the journeys we had over there we had some individuals be part of us from the LGBTQ+ group,” Simon continued.

“We now have additionally finished loads of analysis for a few of the different sporting occasions which were held over there, and so they have solely had optimistic experiences throughout the area.”

Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic and Paralympic Committee, says the announcement is a major second for the nation.

“To have a girls’s event of this magnitude and profile is a defining second for tennis in Saudi Arabia,” mentioned Al Faisal.

“The WTA Finals has the facility to encourage far past the game, particularly for our younger women and girls.”

Arij Almutabagani, who in 2021 grew to become the primary lady elected to run one of many nation’s sports activities federations, mentioned: “Everybody might be made to really feel extraordinarily welcome.

“Our nation is transferring ahead. A lot has been achieved already and lots of historic steps taken by girls in all sectors lately, with sport driving a lot of the progress throughout our whole society.

“Internet hosting the WTA Finals is completely enormous for the way forward for tennis in Saudi Arabia and rising sport typically, particularly amongst our younger women. And that is totally our focus, to encourage future generations of gamers and rejoice girls’s tennis.”

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