Pepperell defends decision to play in Saudi Arabia

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Pepperell finished with 38th of the Dubai Desert Classic last week

Eddie Pepperell from England defended his decision to play in this week's Saudi International event.

The tournament has attracted a field of top class despite critical research on the human rights of the country.

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Turkey has drawn further attention to the subject.

"It is clear that the human rights record of Saudi Arabia is doubtful at best, and terrible for everyone in the West," said Pepperell, 28, in a blog.

"But would that mean we boycott?

" That probably depends on who you are. I can only speak for myself, and do not forget that I am not being paid to be here.

"The problem with morally approaching our play in Saudi Arabia this week is that it would expose many inconsistencies of the past.

" Like, for example, why do we play in China? ? Or Qatar? Or Turkey?

"Depending on your time scale, you can say that every country on earth at one point has illustrated the worst that people have to offer."

Pepperell won his European maiden Tour title in Qatar last year and is the world number 39.

But while four of the world's top five players play at the £ 2.6 million event, the European Ryder Cup star Paul Casey stays away because of human rights violations, such as co-Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick.

Tiger Woods meanwhile refused a reported revenue of $ 2 million as well as a hunt.

World number one Justin Rose defended his participation by saying "I am not a politician, I am a professional golfer."

Pepperell accepts the effect that not playing in the case of his season would play a role in his acceptance of his place in the field.

"For me, if I have not played, I offer the opportunity to fight against the world," added the Oxfordshire player.

"I also miss a chance to improve my world rankings, which is of some importance to me, because if I reach the top 50 before April, I will not qualify for a PGA Tour event that I have planned to play.

"And that means losing flights etc. and having to pay for new ones, what you could say is no problem, because I've earned a lot of money lately, although resentment is not good for someone.

"This week throws a not-new riddle before us, that competition replaces morality If I do not show up, the field will not be replaced, someone will take it." With more than seven billion people in the world, our future can give us all a chance to choose between morality and survival.

"This is not to say that morality is not important and should never be acted, but it is to say that there is a reality in the world that, although we may not all be fun, still exists.

"On top of all this, perhaps, perhaps, the regime really wants to change here, perhaps they have recognized the dangerous state of their own affairs and in particular their dependence on a fossil fuel that will not last forever

"It could be true that they want to liberalize their kingdom so that they can be competitive themselves in the future Why should we not accept this, if it is true? Are we not the real suppliers of forgiveness? "

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