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A bonanza for sports fans in Saudi Arabia’s soft power games

How quickly the most novel of announcements can become the new normal. The Saudi Press Agency reported on 9 December that, following a ten-year agreement between the General Sports Authority (GSA) and World Snooker, the kingdom would host “for the first time in its history, a world snooker championship”. Never shy of entering a lucrative new market, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn called the 4-10 October 2020 Saudi Masters championship “a giant leap forward for our sport… For the fans in Saudi Arabia it is a wonderful opportunity to see the best players in the world competing for a huge title.”

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