Mainz have announced they will play a friendly with Newcastle, despite protests from their fans who do not want a match against a club owned by a Saudi Arabian consortium.
The fans of Mainz and the third league team Munich 1860 protested against the so-called “sport washing” of the image of Saudi Arabia, that is, because of the use of sports events to improve the image of that country, primarily because of the issue of respect for human rights.
“Newcastle United is not just a football club, but a tool for implementing the interests of a regime that tramples on human rights and whose policies are diametrically opposed to the values that Mainz stands for,” the fans said in a statement.
The management of Mainz offered to discuss the matter with the fans, but announced that the game will be played on July 18 at the training camp in Austria, according to the obligations of the contract. The management pointed out that Mainz has few opportunities to play against the leading European clubs.
“From a sporting perspective, we cannot give up this game.” A unilateral cancellation, which some of our fans are asking for, is unthinkable. This could have serious legal and economic consequences for us because of our contractual obligations and because we stick to our agreements in principle,” said Mainz sporting director Christian Heidel.
Since the consortium from Saudi Arabia bought the majority share of Newcastle in October, the team went to Saudi Arabia for winter training, and the club released a spare jersey, green and white, in the colors of the Saudi national team.
Until this problem solves itself, live betting on all matches is available in MeridianBet.