Jamie Carragher responds to Rio Ferdinand’s criticism of Saudi Arabia
Rio Ferdinand recently criticized Jamie Carragher for his stance on Saudi Arabia’s investment in football, and Carragher, a pundit for Sky Sports, has not taken kindly to the comment.
The past few weeks have witnessed a significant surge in the influence of the Saudi Pro League within the footballing world, particularly evident during the transfer window.
Ruben Neves’s signing broke the league’s record for the most expensive transfer, while Karim Benzema followed in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo as one of the league’s highest-profile players.
Furthermore, Steven Gerrard, a Liverpool legend, made his managerial move to the Saudi Pro League, and there are rumors of him targeting former teammates from his time at Anfield to join him in his new venture.
Gerrard had initially decided to turn down an approach from the Middle East but eventually decided to relent and move to Al Ettifaq.
Many have been criticial of the Saudis attempt to buy their way into football and Carragher has been amongst the most vocal.
The Sky Sports pundit said: “Saudi have taken over Golf, the big Boxing fights & now they want to take over football!! This sports washing needs to be stopped!”
Now Ferdinand has criticised the former Liverpool man for not criticising his mate Gerrard for moving to the country he has lambasted.
“Jamie? Jamie Carragher man, where are you?” the former Manchester United star asked on his FIVE YouTube channel.
“…Your boy’s [Gerrard] gone over there and I’ve not heard a peep out of you. I’ve not heard how disappointed you are…”
🗣️ RIO FERDINAND CALLS OUT JAMIE CARRAGHER pic.twitter.com/mbGpLTm1Mc
— FIVE (@FIVEUK) July 6, 2023
Ferdinand claimed he was happy for all the players and managers who were going over to Saudi Arabia and claimed people were ‘going mad’ just because of the country.
However Carragher has hit back at BT Sport and criticised him for his support of Qatar and Saudi, whilst saying he’s never had an issue with those going over.
“Never criticised Silva, Benzema, Neves or SG, I don’t like Saudi trying to buy football like they have Golf,” the former defender said on social media.
“I knew you’d be all over it Rio Ferdinand,” he added with the money emoji, “like you were in Qatar!
“That’s why you refused to do the opening game [of the World Cup] for BBC Match of the Day, didn’t want to criticise your paymaster!”
Never criticised Silva, Benzema, Neves or SG, I don’t like Saudi trying to buy football like they have Golf.
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) July 6, 2023
Carra was referencing the start of the World Cup in which Gary Lineker opened the show in Qatar with a monologue, ahead of the host nation’s opening game with Ecuador.
Lineker said: “From accusations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who built the stadiums, where many lost their lives.
“Homosexuality is illegal here. Women’s rights and freedom of expression are in the spotlight. Also the decision six years ago to switch the World Cup from summer to winter.”
Ferdinand was not a pundit on that game.