Italian Super Cup to stay in Saudi Arabia

Jeddah will still host the Italian Super Cup, despite calls for the match to be moved out of Saudi Arabia.

The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October led fans, journalists and human rights groups to suggest the match should be played elsewhere.

Serie A, the organisers of the Super Cup, however, have stated that the match will go ahead as planned, on 16 January 2019 at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium.

This honours an existing $23 million agreement between Serie A and Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority to hold three of the next five Super Cups in Saudi Arabia.

The Super Cup, which sees the winner of the previous season’s Serie A league take on the Coppa Italia champion, has been played outside of Italy six times in the past ten years.

In January, Saudi Arabia will become the fifth country to host the Super Cup, after Italy, the US, China and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia has faced increasing opposition after the killing of Khashoggi, with many western governments blaming Saudi agents acting on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Amnesty International and Italian state TV’s journalists’ union have both condemned the decision to keep the match in Saudi Arabia.

Tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal faced similar criticism after agreeing to take part in an exhibition match in the country, although this was later scrapped to allow Nadal to recover from injury.

The Super Cup will be shown on TV in Italy, where thousands of fans are expected to watch as Serie A champions Juventus battle Milan for the title.

Both teams have won the Super Cup seven times, more than any other Italian teams. Milan qualified for the Super Cup as runners-up of the Coppa Italia, which Juventus won in addition to their league title.

Both the two previous Super Cup meetings between the sides went to penalties, most recently in the 2016 match in Qatar, where Milan came out victorious.

2018-12-30T21:04:02+00:00 December 6th, 2018|Sports Industry Insider|0 Comments

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