Messi Becomes Brand Ambassador For Saudi Arabia Tourism
Paris Saint-German (PSG) football star, Lionel Messi, has been unveiled as brand ambassador for the Saudi Tourism Authority, despite objecting pleas from the human rights advocacy body, Grant Liberty.
The news was confirmed after Messi visited Saudi Arabia for Jeddah Season, a citywide art, culture and entertainment festival.
Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister, Ahmed Al-Khateeb, posted on Twitter a photo of Messi being welcomed, captioned: “I am pleased to welcome Lionel Messi to Saudi Arabia.”
“We are excited for you to explore the treasures of the Red Sea, the Jeddah Season and our ancient history.
“This is not his first visit to the Kingdom and it will not be the last,” it read.
Following this, Messi uploaded a sponsored Instagram post at the Red Sea, captioned with the ‘#VisitSaudi’ hashtag.
However, the new alliance will not be taken positively by all, with families of Saudi Arabian prisoners of conscience, urging Messi last year not to be involved with the country and be “used” to “launder its reputation.”
In a letter organised by the human rights advocacy body, Grant Liberty, they wrote: “If you say ‘yes’ to Visit Saudi you are in effect saying yes to all the human rights abuses that take place today in modern Saudi Arabia…”
“But if you say ‘no’ you will send an equally powerful message – that human rights matter, that decency matters, that those who torture and murder do not do so with impunity…”
“Lionel Messi, you are a hero to millions – please use that status for good,” the letter read.