The New South Wales authorities is “prepared and prepared” to have discussions with Greg Norman in a bid to carry the Saudi-backed LIV golf tour to Sydney, the state’s sports activities minister has mentioned.
Amid growing hypothesis Norman is in search of to carry the controversial breakaway match to Australia, the minister, Alister Henskens, confirmed he was open to internet hosting the multimillion-dollar insurgent collection.
“With a few of the greatest programs in Australia, NSW is the right place to host main golf tournaments,” he informed the Guardian.
“We’re prepared and prepared to have discussions about bringing extra skilled tour occasions to NSW.”
On Wednesday Norman was quoted within the Day by day Telegraph as saying unnamed state governments have been “placing taxpayers’ cash on the desk” to lure the tour to Australia.
Norman informed the Telegraph he had “already held talks with state ministers” in a bid to safe a course to host an occasion as quickly as April subsequent yr.
He mentioned “conversations have been had” and negotiations “will most likely choose up right here within the subsequent week”.
The Guardian understands Norman has been purchasing the prospect of internet hosting a LIV Golf occasion to a variety of golf equipment in Sydney, however is but to have formal discussions with Henskens, who has solely been within the function since final month.
The insurgent collection has been extremely controversial on account of its monetary hyperlinks to the repressive Saudi regime, however Henskens mentioned in a press release NSW needed to “appeal to the most important and greatest occasions to our state”.
“NSW has greater than 166,000 registered golfers, upwards of 370 programs and the sport has an financial influence of about $1.3bn yearly to the NSW financial system.”
Each the Queensland and Victorian governments informed the Guardian on Wednesday they’d not been approached by Norman, nor had any conversations with the breakaway league.
“Representatives of the LIV Golf Sequence haven’t made contact with my workplace, nor have any presents been made to carry a LIV Golf occasion in Queensland,” Queensland’s sport minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, mentioned.
Hinchliffe’s workplace didn’t rule out the prospect of the state internet hosting the LIV tour, however his spokesperson mentioned Tourism and Occasions Queensland “has an excellent relationship with PGA Australia”.
A spokesperson for the Victorian sports activities minister, Steve Dimopoulos, mentioned his state had not spoken to the insurgent tour, no proposals had been submitted and the federal government was “getting on with delivering main worldwide occasions that help native jobs and companies”.
Norman has been the main focus of considerable criticism inside the golf world – in addition to from human rights teams – for his involvement as a figurehead for LIV Golf.
The match has managed to draw a few of the sport’s most high-profile stars – together with the Open-winning Australian Cameron Smith – on profitable offers.
However human rights teams, together with Amnesty Worldwide, have accused Norman and the golfers who’ve signed as much as the collection of “sportswashing” – using sport by oppressive governments to legitimise their regimes and distract from human rights abuses.
Norman was fiercely criticised after describing the homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as a “mistake”, including the Saudi authorities “desires to maneuver ahead”.