Tennis superstars Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are reconsidering a commitment to play at the King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah in December following the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
Nadal told reporters in Paris that he made a commitment one year ago to play in Jeddah, adding: “I know something happened very bad inside there. So we are looking about how the situation evolves and I hope the things will clarify as soon as possible.”
“It’s terrible that one journalist lost their life,” he added.
Later, superstar, Djokovic said that he was also reconsidering plans to attend the match.
“I don’t like to involve myself in any political exchange or situations. It’s unfortunate that we are both drawn into this right now,” he said.
“I’m aware of what’s happening and it’s sad. I’ve always been trying to be very professional and respectful towards people I have commitments with. We have to get more information on what’s happening so we can make a rational decision,” he added.
Since Khashoggi’s brutal murder and after Saudi Arabia admitted that the journalist was murdered by a Saudi hit squad; major companies, banks, international institutions and world leaders have canceled their participation in Saudi events.
While the Saudi authorities claim the crime was an “individual act” committed “without the Saudi leadership’s knowledge”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that the murder was “premeditated”.