Saudi King Reshuffles Government, ٌRemoves Al Sheikh from Sports Post

Saudi Arabia has made headlines for an unexpected reshuffle, affecting one official who has a complicated relationship with Morocco.

Saudi King Reshuffles Government, ٌRemoves Al Sheikh from Sports Po
King Salman and Turki Al Sheikh
Safaa Kasraoui

Safaa Kasraoui

Safaa Kasraoui is a journalist at Morocco World News.

Rabat – King Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered a government reshuffle on Thursday, dismissing and appointing replacements for several officials.

In a decree, the Saudi King replaced foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir with Ibrahim al-Assaf.

According to Al Jazeera, the King appointed Turki Al Shabanah as minister of information.

The Saudi King also replaced the chairman of the General Sports Authority,

Turki Al Sheikh and gave him a post in entertainment. Al Sheikh has had an unfriendly history with Morocco since the bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

Al Sheikh expressed anti-Moroccan sentiments several times throughout the campaign, complaining about Morocco’s neutral position on the Gulf crisis between Qatar and the Saudi-led coalition.

Al-Sheikh tweeted, “Some people went astray. If you want our support, you should seek it in Riyadh. What you are doing is wasting your time. Now ask the pseudo-state to help you,” referring to Qatar.

Read Also: After 2026 World Cup Row, Al Sheikh Says Morocco Should Host CAN 2019

In an interview with the Saudi-based sports news platform Arriyadiyah in March, Al-Sheikh said that putting friendship first has been “very detrimental to the Saudis.” He added that what really mattered to him was that “the 2026 World Cup needs to be hosted  in the best conditions.”

Later this year, Al-Sheikh seemed to have made an about-face when he tweeted his full support for Morocco to host the Africa Cup of Nations next year. The Confederation of African Football announced that Cameroon, the original host, was not ready for the tournament and invited bids from other African countries.

After the government reshuffle, Al Sheikh expressed gratitude to King Salman and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their “confidence to appoint me as a president to General Authority for Entertainment,” he tweeted.

تركي آل الشيخ✔@Turki_alalshikh

أشكر مولاي خادم الحرمين وسيدي ومولاي ولي العهد على الثقة في تعييني رئيس لهيئة الترفية … تجربة جديدة يارب وفقني لخدمة ولاة امري واخواني وخواتي الشعب العظيم "</p