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Business of Sport

Sports business news from the Middle East. All the important stories, exclusive interviews, plus authoritative opinion and analysis

Qatar to allow beer at World Cup three hours before kick-off

Qatar will permit ticketed fans to buy alcoholic beer at World Cup soccer matches starting three hours before kickoff and for one hour after the final whistle, but not during the match, a source with knowledge of plans for the tournament said. Budweiser, a major World Cup sponsor with exclusive rights to sell beer at […]

LIV Golf players ineligible for PGA Tour membership renewal

The PGA Tour players, who have been indefinitely suspended by the US-based circuit for joining LIV Golf, were informed this week that they are not eligible to renew their membership for the season 2022-23, Reuters confirmed on Friday. As first reported by Sports Illustrated, a letter sent on Thursday to 22 players who had not […]

Abu Dhabi punches its way into global boxing reckoning

Having won the battle to become the international home of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), Abu Dhabi is now looking to rival Las Vegas and Saudi Arabia as a destination to host the world’s top boxing matches. UFC, the multi-billion dollar mixed martial arts organisation, signed a deal with the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and […]

Smith defects to Saudi-backed LIV in major blow to PGA Tour

Australian golf fans may be split over Cameron Smith’s defection to the LIV series but the Saudi-backed circuit could ultimately find fallow ground in a country left to wither by the increasingly dominant US and European tours. World number two Smith, who claimed his first major at the British Open in July, confirmed he had […]

US firm joins Yankees owners to complete AC Milan takeover

US investment firm RedBird Capital has joined forces with the owners of the New York Yankees to complete the 1.2 billion euro ($1.2 billion) acquisition of Italian soccer champions AC Milan, it said in a statement on Wednesday. Yankee Global Enterprises (YGE), owner of the New York baseball team, will take a minority equity stake […]

David Beckham in Qatar

Qatar sends on Beckham amid questions over World Cup legacy

Qatar Tourism has launched a marketing campaign starring David Beckham as it counts down to the start of the FIFA World Cup in November. The former England captain – who is reportedly being paid £150 million ($174 million) over 10 years to promote Qatar – is advertising holidays in the country as tourism chiefs seek […]

Brazil soccer clubs poised for gold rush to rival Europe’s elite

A new law allowing soccer clubs in Brazil to seek outside investment is attracting hundreds of millions of dollars to a country renowned as football’s biggest source of talent, a change that could see Brazilian teams rival Europe’s top tier. The surge of fresh, mostly foreign, cash coincides with an agreement last May by Brazil’s […]

Serena Williams’ massive on-court earnings have no rival

Serena Williams enters her final US Open as a long shot to take home the trophy but her title as the biggest earner in the history of women’s tennis will remain for many years to come. Since turning professional in 1995, Williams has amassed a mind-boggling $94.6 million in prize money, more than twice as […]

Person, Human, Golf Club

PGA Tour overhauls schedule, player purses amid LIV threat

The PGA Tour’s top golfers have committed to competing against each other on a more regular basis while the bonus pool for players who positively impact the game was doubled to $100 million, Commissioner Jay Monahan said on Wednesday. The changes represent the PGA Tour’s most serious response to the threat posed by the Saudi […]

Los Angeles Angels owner to explore selling team

Los Angeles Angels owner Arte Moreno on Tuesday said he has begun exploring the possibility of selling the Anaheim-based team he has owned for 20 seasons. “Although this difficult decision was entirely our choice and deserved a great deal of thoughtful consideration, my family and I have ultimately come to the conclusion that now is […]

FC Barcelona still unable to register Kounde as player

Barcelona have still not been authorised to register French defender Jules Kounde as a player, one of their marquee summer signings, as the club works to comply with LaLiga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, manager Xavi Hernandez said on Saturday. “At the moment, we don’t know anything. We are on stand-by,” Xavi told a news […]

Person, Human, Restaurant

Hacker tournament brings together world’s best in Las Vegas

A team of hackers from two North American universities won the “Capture the Flag” championship, a contest seen as the “Olympics of hacking,” which draws together some of the world’s best in the field. In the carpeted ballroom of one of the largest casinos in Las Vegas, the few dozen hackers competing in the challenge […]

Person, Human, Suit

Elon Musk says he was joking about buying Manchester United

Elon Musk, the world’s richest person, said early on Wednesday that he was joking when he tweeted hours previously that he was going to buy currently struggling English football club Manchester United Plc. “No, this is a long-running joke on Twitter. I’m not buying any sports teams,” Musk posted when asked by a user if […]

Formula One governing body approves 2026 engine rules

Formula One’s governing body approved engine regulations for 2026 on Tuesday, an eagerly-awaited move that could lead to the arrival of premium Volkswagen Group brands Porsche and Audi. The International Automobile Federation (FIA) said its World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) also updated the 2022 and 2023 technical rules to address safety concerns. The new power unit […]

Qatar wealth fund-backed Group One mulls US listing

Group One Holdings, backed by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), is planning an initial public offering (IPO) in the US, Bloomberg reported. The company behind mixed martial arts brand One Championship is changing its legal domicile to the Cayman Islands from Singapore as a step towards the listing. Earlier, the company had explored […]

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation wants to grow women's football at home and across Asia

Saudi Arabia’s next goal: women’s sport

Likely Saudi investment in an overseas women’s football team  Kingdom may fund other sports such as athletics Sector’s contribution to Saudi GDP is $7bn Just five years ago, Saudi women were banned from watching football at stadiums. Fast forward to 2022 and Saudi Arabia has officially announced its intention to bid for the 2026 AFC […]

Saudi Arabia bids to host Asian Winter Games in NEOM

The Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee (SOPC) has officially submitted a letter of interest to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to host the 10th Asian Winter Games in 2029 in TROJENA, NEOM’s global destination for mountain tourism. The letter included a brief introduction about the Saudi Vision 2030, which will support TROJENA to host […]

Person, Human, Sport

Mickelson and others sue PGA Tour in LIV fight

Hall of Fame golfer Phil Mickelson and 10 other players filed a lawsuit against the PGA Tour on Wednesday, alleging that it broke anti-trust law by refusing them to participate on the tour and the new rival LIV Golf circuit, backed by Saudi Arabia. The lawsuit was led by six-time major champion Mickelson and includes […]

Sweden's Henrik Stenson lost the Ryder Cup captaincy when he announced he was joining the rebel tour

Stenson loses sponsorship after he joins LIV Golf

Mutual of Omaha have ended their sponsorship of Henrik Stenson, the American company said on Wednesday, a week after the Swede joined the lucrative LIV Golf Invitational Series. Stenson, who won the 2016 British Open with a record score, was stripped of Team Europe’s Ryder Cup captaincy last week, hours before he announced his decision […]

world cup advertising

World Cup is an advertiser’s dream worth millions

With a projected worldwide audience of five billion people, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is an advertiser’s dream.  Although some brands have toyed with the idea of boycotting the event, and may eventually do so due to the controversies that have dogged Qatar’s hosting of the tournament, ignoring one of the world’s biggest sporting spectacles […]