Abderrazak Hamdallah (right) was beaten by a man with a whip as he left the square.
Image: Reuters

Saudi Arabia wants to polish its image with high investments. One aggressive fan is enough to question all the desert state's efforts: he pulls out his knife and punishes a professional footballer.

Yonorth Saudi Arabia They have also invested quite a bit in marketing potential in the recent past, particularly when it comes to the impact of football. The World Cup is approaching in ten years, this week the first Saudi Arabia Super Cup was held. That means four Saudi teams competed in Abu Dhabi. Only external marketing.

But what was planned as a week of celebration for Saudi football turned into a public relations disaster. He flew in the semifinals on Monday Cristiano Ronaldo From the field of play, violence.

The Portuguese raised his fist on the referee's back and then walked away. Or rather: he was trolled. “Messi! “Messi!” the spectators shouted. Maybe fun, maybe kindergarten.

At least harmless compared to the corporal punishment that Abderrazak Hamdallah suffered three days later.. The Moroccan had just lost the final with Al-Ittihad against Al-Hilal and was heading to the locker room when a spectator standing above him shouted something at him.

Hamdallah threw water from the bottle he was holding, the spectator took out his whip and struck twice. Clips of him are now going around the world, viewed millions of times and shared thousands of times. Even with a lot of money, the effect of it will be difficult to grasp.