US wrestling organisation WWE has opted to hold ticket sales for its ’Crown Jewel’ event in Saudi Arabia amid controversy surrounding the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Turkey.
WWE has halted any further ticket sales for the pay-per-view event that was due to take place on November 2 at the 20,000-seat King Saud University Stadium.
According to Pro Wrestling Sheet, the sale date has been removed from the wrestling firm’s website after previously being advertised to go on the market last Friday. In addition, WWE.com no longer lists the Crown Jewel event location, only the date of the show.
WWE is currently engaged in a 10-year agreement with Saudi Arabia, which has brought the organisation under huge scrutiny.
The move to halt ticket sales comes amid high-profile controversy over Khashoggi’s death, which has been widely blamed on an interrogation gone wrong.
However, according to the Guardian newspaper, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has publicly denounced Saudi claims that the journalist died in a fight in its Istanbul consulate. Erdoğan alleges that his “savage” murder was premeditated and has called for an independent investigation in Turkey.
WWE Crown Jewel had been due to take place at the 67,000-capacity King Fahd International Stadium in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, but recently opted to cut its ticket availability by almost a third with a venue change.