Lionel Messi is in collaboration with the Saudi Tourism Authority. The news was confirmed after photos emerged of the Paris Saint-German (PSG) star arriving in Saudi Arabia for Jeddah Season, an arts and culture festival comprising 2,800 separate events.
Later, on his Instagram, Messi posted a photo with the caption ‘Discovering the Red Sea in Arabia’. #VisitSaudi”.
“I am pleased to welcome Lionel Messi to Saudi Arabia. We are excited for you to explore the treasure of the Red Sea, the season of Jeddah and our ancient history. This is not his first visit to the Kingdom and it will not be his last,” Ahmed Al Khateeb, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Tourism, posted on Twitter.
It is worth remembering that, in February, after it was reported by The Telegraph that Messi had been approached by the Saudi tourist board, families of prisoners of conscience (arrested as a result of the non-violent expression of their ideas, convictions, beliefs or ideology) in the country wrote a letter asking the player not to go to the country. The letter was released by human rights body Grant Liberty.
“You are an inspiration to millions and what you say and do really matters. To be blunt, you have enormous power, but with that power comes great responsibility. If you say ‘yes’ to visiting Saudi Arabia, you are actually saying yes to all human rights abuses taking place in Saudi Arabia today.
In this sense, despite being a UNICEF ambassador, David Beckham became an ambassador for the Qatar Cup. On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo turned down a proposal from Saudi Arabia itself to promote the country as a tourist destination.