Fans of pre-season friendly opponents call for their club to cancel Newcastle United match
The Newcastle United pre-season is now starting to take shape.
With less than five weeks to go until the new season kicks off, Newcastle have their first friendly on Saturday (9 July 2022), a behind closed doors game against Gateshead at Newcastle’s training ground.
Shortly after that opening pre-season warm up, Newcastle United are then off to Austria, for a week’s training / bonding camp.
This includes two friendlies:
Friday 15 July 2022 – FC Pinzgau Saalfelden will host a friendly between Newcastle United and German side 1860 Munich at their stadium, the Saalfelden Arena Bürgerau, kick-off is 6pm local time.
Monday 18th July 2022 – Newcastle playing German side Mainz at the 4,500-capacity Kufstein Arena FC Kufstein, kick-off 5pm local time.
However, fans of Mainz 05 are looking to have their game against Newcastle United cancelled, an open letter from the Bundesliga club’s supporters calling on the club’s management to pull out of the friendly…
Open letter from Mainz 05 fans to their club:
In an extensive and intensive process, Mainz 05 have given themselves a mission statement in which, among other things, democratic values and an offensive attitude against exclusion and discrimination are central elements. The Supporters Mainz fully support these values.
We are taking the planned match against Newcastle United in the forthcoming training camp as an opportunity to remind Mainz 05 of these values in their mission statement.
Newcastle United was acquired by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF, which is chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in late 2021. The motive for this was probably less the enthusiasm for football or the identification with the club Newcastle United than the so-called “sport washing” – the attempt to polish the image of Saudi Arabia by entering international football.
We recall that Saudi Arabia is not only an absolute monarchy in which democratic participation of its citizens has no place, but a country in which basic human rights are systematically disregarded. Suppression of freedom of expression and religion, persecution of homosexuals, oppression of women, use of caning and the death penalty are part of the laws there.
So Newcastle United is not just a football club, but a vehicle for asserting the interests of a regime that tramples on human rights and whose policies are diametrically opposed to the values and mission statement of Mainz 05.
At a time when authoritarian states, large corporations or billionaires are taking over international football in order to assert their interests, it is no longer possible to separate football and politics.
With the decision to play a friendly against Newcastle United, Mainz 05 is sending a signal, and not a good one at that: This game sends out the signal that the values of the mission statement are not binding when it comes to choosing opponents for friendly or friendlies go. With a game against Newcastle United, Mainz also actively offers the Saudi regime a stage and thus indirectly recognizes it politically.
We call on Mainz 05: Take a stand! Read your mission statement! Cancel the game against Newcastle United!
Supporters Mainz eV, July 2022′
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