Former women’s footballer Jill Scott has criticised Saudi Arabia over its Draconian policies on LGBT people in a veiled dig at fellow Mackem Jordan Henderson.
Scott, former Lioness star and Queen of the Jungle, is openly gay and has been engaged to another female footballer, since 2020.
However, Saudi Arabia, which follows a hard-line interpretation of Wahhabist Islam, completely prohibits homosexuality which is punishable by death.
Women have also faced a subordinate role in the country’s public life and were not even permitted to drive until recently.
Despite this, the Kingdom has begun investing mega money into football, including the highly controversial acquisition of Newcastle United, as well as wooing Premier League stars to the country on mega contracts.
Sunderland born Jordan Henderson made the decision to join Saudi side Al-Ettifaq this summer on a £750,000 a week contract, drawing criticism and condemnation from fans and activists.
Henderson later claimed in an interview that he didn’t make the decision for the money, provoking ridicule and disbelief.
For Jill, this was difficult to take, and she criticised the country’s position in a recent interview, stating: “I’m a Jordan Henderson fan but now I know I wouldn’t be welcome if I wanted to watch him play football,”