Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s sports minister, has said his government would definitely support any private sector bids from the country for Manchester United or Liverpool.

While the Saudi Public Investment Fund backed the purchase of Newcastle United last winter, Prince Abdulaziz said private businesses in his country have a strong interest in English football’s most successful clubs, with both instructing banks regarding potential investment or sale.

“From the private sector, I can’t speak on their behalf, but there is a lot of interest and appetite and passion about football,” he told BBC Sport. “It’s the most-watched league in Saudi and the region and you have a lot of fans of the Premier League. We will definitely support it if any [Saudi] private sector comes in, because we know that’s going to reflect positively on sports within the kingdom. If there’s an investor willing to do so and the numbers add up, why not?”

The prince also stated a wish to see Cristiano Ronaldo play in Saudi. The 37-year-old is a free agent after leaving United by mutual agreement this week and he recently stated that he turned down a two-year deal in the summer worth more than £300m a year from a Saudi club.

“I would love to see Ronaldo play in the Saudi league,” said Prince Abdulaziz. “It would benefit the league, the sports eco-system in Saudi and will inspire the youth for the future. He’s a role model to a lot of kids and has a big fanbase in Saudi.”

Ronaldo scored in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana at the Qatar World Cup on Thursday and Saudi may make its own bid to host the tournament. “Who wouldn’t want to host the World Cup?” the prince said. “Any country in the world would love to host the World Cup.”

In hosting major sporting events including boxing world title fights Saudi has been accused of sportwashing to deflect criticism of its record on human rights. But Prince Abdulaziz claimed doing so has been positive for his nation’s people.

“The numbers don’t lie – when you look at participation in boxing, from six gyms in 2018 to 57 gyms today. A 300% participation increase, 60% are women, which was a shock for us. When you see appetite from the youth, men and women, they learned from it. If it’s making the country better and fixing a lot of the social issues we have in terms of participation then that’s a benefit for us,” he said.

You May Also Like

Why authorities will NOT stop magma from the world’s largest active volcano from reaching highway

Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano is likely going to reach a major highway…

It’s hard, but we should all ignore ‘imposter syndrome 35 

Who among us hasn’t felt, every now and then at least, a…

North Carolina County Suffering Power Outrage Allegedly Due to Gunfire

Moore County, North Carolina, is suffering a massive power outrage that authorities…

Jude Bellingham’s moment of cinema makes us wonder where this might go | World Cup 2022

England’s second goal just before half-time at Al Bayt Stadium, the goal…

The daily struggles that people with deafness face in our society | Deafness and hearing loss

A big thank you to Liam O’Dell for confronting, indeed challenging, the…

England v Senegal: World Cup 2022, last 16 – live | World Cup 2022

Key events Show key events only Please turn on JavaScript to use…

Ice box Britain: UK set for coldest night of winter so far

Snow to hit ice box Britain: First flurries to sweep across North…

Wives of Harry Kane and Harry Maguire among England WAGS cheering on Three Lions against Senegal

The wives of Harry Kane and Harry Maguire are among the England…