Saudi Arabia’s Turki Al Sheikh has announced that King Mohammed VI has accepted that the second iteration of the Arab Club Champions Cup be named after him.
Rabat – Saudi Arabia’s Turki Al Sheikh has announced that King Mohammed VI has accepted that the second iteration of the Arab Club Champions Cup be named after him.
Al Sheikh, who is adviser to Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed in Salman and current Chairman of General Authority for Entertainment, shared the news on his Facebook account along with a picture with King Mohammed VI.
“In my capacity as president of the Union of Arab Football Associations, I am honored to announced that second Arab Club Champions Cup will be named after King Mohammed VI, who has graciously accepted the offer. The final of the 2020 cup will take place in Rabat,” the former chairman of Saudi Arabia’s sport authority said.
Al Sheikh’s post is a far cry from the series of his diatribe-filled tweets his posted against Morocco over the past two years. As a result of Morocco’ neutrality in the Gulf crisis, Al Sheikh used Twitter to strong-arm Morocco and insinuate that it would pay the price for not siding with Saudi Arabia.
In many of his tweets, Al Sheikh announced that Saudi Arabia would not support Morocco’s bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and it would instead lend its support to the United 2026 bid, led by the United States.
In the period leading up to the June 2018 FIFA’s meeting to vote on the host of the 2026 World Cup, Al Sheikh did not only side with the United States, but he also lobbied many Arab countries to vote against Morocco.
His efforts led many Arab countries such as Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq to vote against Morocco.
The timing of Al Sheikh sudden change of heart towards Morocco suggests that the two countries may have decided to turn the page of tension and misunderstanding that have affected their bilateral relations over the past two years.
Al Sheikh’s announcement comes on the heels of contacts between the leaders of two countries in recent weeks to repair their privileged and longstanding bilateral ties.
Last week, Morocco’s foreign minister, Nasser Bourita, meet with Saudi King Salman bin Abdelaziz and handed him a message from King Mohammed VI. During the same Gulf tour, the head of Morocco’s diplomacy also met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The two meetings occurred after the phone call that King Mohammed VI had with King Salman bin Abdelaziz on March 21