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24 Jan 2024

The Latest Saudi Arabia's Bid Is... Snooker

Saudi Arabia [is hosting the first major invitational snooker event](https://www.cnbc.com/2024/01/22/saudi-arabia-sports-push-embraces-snooker-with-a-golden-ball.html), the "Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker," from March 4-6 in Riyadh. Featuring top players like [Ronnie O'Sullivan](https://www.bbc.com/sport/snooker/68049760), Judd Trump, and Luca Brecel, the event introduces a unique "[Riyadh Season](https://riyadhseason.com/en-US)" golden ball worth 20 points, allowing a maximum break of 167. The kingdom's significant sports investments, including in soccer, Formula One, and other sports, have led to accusations of "sportswashing" to distract from human rights issues, which Saudi officials deny.