The Italian Super Cup clash between Juventus and AC Milan will take place in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 16, organisers Serie A have announced.
The two clubs had been asked by Amnesty International to boycott the event in protest at the country’s poor human rights record — with the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi heightening tensions.
“It is clear that countries like Saudi Arabia are well aware of the potential for sport to subtly ‘rebrand’ a country,” a spokesperson for Amnesty had told ESPN FC. “Even before the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Arabia had a truly appalling human rights record. “We’d urge these Italian clubs to think twice about the signal this sends out to sports fans across the world and the activists who stand up for human rights in Saudi Arabia.”
However, Serie A have decided the match will take place at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah.
The Super Cup, which was first staged in 1988, has often been played outside of Europe. The first was in 1993, when Milan and Torino met in Washington D.C.