After the release of the report of the World Trade Organization, which condemns Saudi Arabia of being involved in the piracy of broadcasting sporting events through the "B OutQ" channel, attention is drawn to the effect of this decision on the acquisition of the Saudi Investment Fund on Newcastle United.
The WTO had confirmed Saudi Arabia's involvement in violating intellectual property rights laws by being behind "PQQ", which pirated the broadcast of several channels, including Qatar's BN Sports.
The report of the International Arbitration Committee at the organization stated that "B out Q" has benefited from the support of influential Saudi institutions and personalities, including Saud Al-Qahtani, former adviser to the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and called on Riyadh to amend its procedures to be consistent with its obligations under international intellectual property law.
The report, which includes a clear condemnation of Saudi Arabia in what has been described as the largest piracy operation supported by a country in the world, received praise from the European Football Association (UEFA), which confirmed the Kingdom's legal responsibility in the matter of piracy.
Returning to the main question in this report, Al-Jazeera correspondent in London, Mohammed Al-Madhoun, said, "Everyone in Newcastle is wondering: What effect will this decision have on the acquisition of Al-Madinah?"
He continued, "There is no mandate for the World Trade Organization over the English Premier League, but the last one that has been studying the file of Saudi Arabia's acquisition of the club for 9 weeks (in the normal does not take more than 3 weeks) will take this decision into consideration, and it will be one of the important elements in the angel study process. And managers that Primerleg makes any new acquisitions. "
In this context, the British newspaper "Mirror" revealed that the offer made by Saudi Arabia through a group of companies led by Amanda Staffeli faces obstacles in passing the examination of managers and owners, because the Premier League itself was a victim of piracy and tried to sue the TV channel.
Even the English Premier League, which is considering the acquisition, testified against Saudi Arabia during the WTO investigation.
Several football organizations - including the International Federation (FIFA), the European Union (UEFA), the Premier League and the League - have attempted to take legal measures against B.O.Q in Saudi Arabia, but 9 local legal firms refused to accept the case, before a case was filed against Saudi Arabia at WTO.
And this WTO report is nothing but the tip of iceberg, the obstacles to a Newcastle acquisition, and it may be a decisive blow to the chances of completing the deal, which includes transferring ownership of 80% of the club’s shares from current owner Mike Ashley to the Saudi Investment Fund headed by Mohamed bin Salman, for 300 million pounds Sterling (about $ 370 million).
The rest of the club’s shares will be divided between a company belonging to businesswoman Amanda Staffeli (who plays the role of broker in the deal), and Robin Brothers, which is owned by Britain’s second richest family.
In this context, the newspaper "Daily Mail" revealed that the Premier has sent a long list of questions to the group led by the Saudi Investment Fund to answer all these matters, so that the persons responsible for approving this deal evacuate their responsibility from any subsequent problems or legal claims.
The English Premier League laws prohibit the completion of acquisition deals for parties convicted of crimes in Britain or abroad, and prospective owners are also required to provide false, misleading or inaccurate information.
It is noteworthy that the Premier League Chief Executive (Premier League) Richard Masters expressed - a few days ago - his strong sympathy for Khadija Genghis, the sermon of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed in his country's consulate in Istanbul in late 2018.
It is the first time that the Premier League has revealed that he is looking into allegations of human rights violations as part of a routine examination of owners and managers before agreeing to an offer to sell a Premier League club.
Genghis warned for the first time last April the risk of allowing a Gulf sovereign fund to buy the club, and that it would be a "great stigma" affecting the reputation of the richest league in the world and Britain as a whole, and her lawyer has contacted with Masters twice asking him to stop the deal.
Khashoggi’s former fiancée accused the Saudi crown prince, whom the United Nations and US intelligence considered directly involved in the killing of Khashoggi, “of using sport in a strategic way to restore his severely damaged image.”
Amnesty International also asked the Premier League to block the deal, saying that Mohammed bin Salman was involved in a "comprehensive human rights crackdown," while other parties warned of Saudi Arabia's attempts to bleach its image through sports investments.