Several days ago, the head of the sports sector in NEOM, Jan Patterson, stated that the aspirations of the workers on the project are to make the city a leading global sports center to incubate diversity and excellence and to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the sports sector in the new city, which she described as ” dreamy”.
This came a few weeks after the conclusion of a global partnership agreement with the AFC, making NEOM the AFC’s global partner for four years between 2021-2024.
This partnership comes as part of bin Salman’s desperate attempts to clear his bloody record of violations and heinous crimes, some of which have been classified as crimes against humanity in accordance with United Nations standards and international human rights covenants.
All of these partnerships, agreements and deals have cost and will cost Saudi billions of the money of the poor people who are forced to austerity due to the financial crisis of the country and the first of its kind in decades due to the Corona pandemic and the oil price due to MBS’ reckless decisions against Russia.
MBS has an opportunity to achieve real reform for free. He can start a new page with his people, end the campaigns of oppression and tyranny, stop all attempts to spy on opponents, stop abusing their families, release all prisoners of conscience and allow the people to enjoy their right to freedom of expression and opinion, and hold accountable those responsible for torturing the detainees.
Most importantly, he must give people their rights and stop the forced displacement that threatens the people of Al-Hawitat tribe, as officials want to annex their lands to the NEOM project to be part of the city, and in return they were not compensated with appropriate compensation nor the provision of alternative places according to the standards that satisfy them.
The billions MBS is spending to improve his image will never make the world forget Khashoggi and his brutal murder, or cover up the murder of Abdul Rahim Al-Huwaiti, or erase the marks of torture on the bodies of those arbitrarily detained and humiliated inside prisons by security personnel and jailers.
Ironically, Engineer Nazmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM commented on the partnership contract with the Asian Football Confederation, as he said, “NEOM is pleased with its partnership with the AFC, as football is the favorite sport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Especially in the hearts of all Saudis, adding that this partnership represents a unique opportunity to inspire and enable NEOM residents to live a moderate and healthy lifestyle, and it also converges with our goals to enable society to be more active and vibrant.
Engineer Nazmi Al-Nasr talks about providing comfort to the residents of NEOM without really specifying which residents since no one has moved to Neom yet.
All analyses confirm that the city is only valid for the very wealthy and the richest class of the royal family only.