Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly turned down a multi-million-dollar opportunity to become the face of Saudi Arabian tourism.
The deal amounted to $6m per year and is understood to have included Ronaldo’s image being used on all promotional material and his making visits to the country, according to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.
Ronaldo’s footballing rival Lionel Messi has also been approached by the kingdom’s tourism authority, but his view on the proposal is not yet known, the paper said.
Representatives of Ronaldo and Messi refused to discuss the matter when approached by The Telegraph.
Sports and entertainment have formed part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 strategy to diversify the economy and improve its international reputation.
However, groups such as Amnesty International have long campaigned against what it says is the kingdom’s use of such connections to distract from its human rights violations.