WWE make decision over Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia

WWE have confirmed that the upcoming Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia will go ahead as planned.

The event is part of a 10-year partnership between the WWE and the Saudi government, but has been shrouded in controversy following the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

A statement released by the company on Thursday as part of the company’s earnings release acknowledged the "heinous crime" committed, but declared that the spectacle will still take place in Riyadh on November 2.

It declared: "WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base.

"Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh.

"Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event.

"Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled."

WWE also adds that it "is continuing to monitor ongoing developments in the region, and there can be no assurances in this regard.

"If the event were to be cancelled, there could be material adverse impact on 2018 Adjusted OIBDA guidance. While not anticipated, it is possible that a cancellation could also impact expected results beyond 2018."

WWE has not mentioned ‘Saudi Arabia’ on air while promoting the event in recent weeks, but have continued to add further matches to the card.

Tickets had been set to go on sale on Friday, October 19, but they still had not on October 24.

Crown Jewel is the second event WWE will hold in the country, following April’s “Greatest Royal Rumble”, which took place at the King Abdullah Sports City’s King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah.

More to follow…

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