Cristiano Ronaldo should use his platform to speak about human rights issues in Saudi Arabia, says Amnesty International, the BBC reports.
Ronaldo, 37, has signed a lucrative deal reportedly worth more than £177m per year with Saudi club Al Nassr until 2025.
Amnesty say Ronaldo’s signing is part of a “wider pattern of sportswashing.”
The Portuguese striker called Saudi Arabia an “amazing country” as he was unveiled by Al Nassr on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in sporting events, backing the breakaway LIV Golf series, hosting world title boxing fights and a Formula One grand prix, while the country’s Public Investment Fund backed a takeover of Premier League club Newcastle United in 2021.
However, Saudi Arabia has also been accused of human rights abuses and women’s rights campaigners have been imprisoned, despite some reform under crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, such as an end to the ban on women driving.