WWE criticised for hosting event in Saudi Arabia without women
WWE has been criticised for hosting their Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia without female superstars.
In a landmark show, the company will take its biggest name male stars to the Middle East for a one-off extravaganza, featuring a 50-man headline match.
However, no women will be taking part in the show.
WWE have been praised in recent years for their development of women in the sport, with their female stars regularly headlining events and storylines.
As a result, wrestling fans are unhappy with the stance taken by WWE to omit superstars like Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey from the show in Jeddah on Friday.
One disgruntled wrestling fan wrote on Twitter: "WWE chose money over their phenomenal women superstars. I’m hyped about #WWEGRR event but #SaudiArabia’s discrimination against women MUST END!
"Women ARE NOT inadequate to men. They are equal & they deserve to have the same rights everywhere because they’re human beings."
Another added: "I’m so disgusted with @WWE And they’re going over to Saudi Arabia where women are being oppressed to have Greatest Royal rumble ever, and there are no women’s matches in the time all the women’s revolution, it’s sickens me to my core."
Strict laws in Saudi Arabia mean women are restricted on what they can and can’t do.
But WWE hopes that they will be able to host a similar event in years to come.
Speaking to the Independent, WWE executive Triple H said: "You can’t dictate to a country or a religion about how they handle things but, having said that, WWE is at the forefront of a women’s evolution in the world and what you can’t do is affect change anywhere by staying away from it.
"While, right now, women are not competing in the event, we have had discussions about that and we believe and hope that, in the next few years they will be.
"The country is in the middle of a shift in how it is dealing with that – the position is changing, and rights are changing, as are the way women are handled and treated in society.
"We think that’s a great thing and we’re excited to be at the forefront of that change."
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