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Too many heads remain in the sand when it comes to hosting of sport | Sean Ingle

The Guardian
Monday 2 December 2019 11:00

Anthony Joshua’s fight in Saudi Arabia this week once more raises questions about the choice of venue for big eventsTwo scenes. Two British sporting icons. Variations on a theme. Scene one: a supremely jet-lagged Anthony Joshua in a Heathrow hotel in September. After several softballs about his rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr, the question finally comes. Why fight in Saudi Arabia when Amnesty International says the regime is using you to sportswash its “abysmal” human rights record that includes using public beheadings as a weapon to crush dissent?“I appreciate them voicing an opinion,” replies Joshua, before stressing he is not a superhero who can zap away the world’s problems by donning a cape. When pressed, he mumbles something about “reforms” and then suggests he can use his relationship with the Saudis to ask difficult questions rather than “just accusing, pointing fingers and shouting from Great Britain”. Related: Stick to sport? David needs our backing to wrestle with Goliath | Tim Lewis Related: High time that Nike and the IAAF did the right thing by athletes | Sean Ingle Continue reading...

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