Ex-Leeds United and Brentford star pours scorn on Saudi Arabia as billionaire offers bumper new role

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Chris Kamara helped Leeds United to a Second Division title during his brief spell at Elland Road and the star has made his thoughts on Saudi Arabia clear.

Former Leeds United and Brentford star Chris Kamara admitted he was approached by Saudi Arabian football investors over a new role but rejected any notion of a deal before money was even mentioned.

The 65-year-old retired from professional football in 2013 but is still a prevalent face in the sporting world thanks to his work as a presenter and a pundit across a wide range of TV shows. As well as his famous role on Soccer Saturday, Kamara has become the face of Ninja Warrior UK, as well as appearances on Saturday Night Takeaway, The Masked Singer and even a Ted Lasso cameo.

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Over the past year, the former midfielder has also opened up about his struggle with speech apraxia in emotional interviews.

Now it appears that the next twist in Kamara's ever-evolving career could have been helping boost football in Saudi Arabia.

The country is becoming a huge power in the sport with a number of high-profile investments and stars choosing to play for the country's domestic sides.

The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund owns the majority of Newcastle United and Edouard Mendy, Ngolo Kante, Karim Benzema and Ruben Neves have all moved to the country from the Premier League this summer.

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Chris Kamara is a prolific on-screen face (Image: Getty Images)Chris Kamara is a prolific on-screen face (Image: Getty Images)
Chris Kamara is a prolific on-screen face (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Those moves have proved controversial given the country's appalling human rights record. In the Middle Eastern country, women are subject to regular discrimination, free speech and protests are banned, torture and executions are employed and homosexuality is punishable by death.

Taking to Twitter, Kamara said: "Just met one of the Saudi Billionaires involved in the initial stages of building footy in Saudi & he asked me if I would be interested in working on the new league. Not for me thanks but just from an interest point of view, how much [laughing emojis]."

Throwing a side-eye at those in the sport jumping at the chance to grab Saudi cash, followers praised Kamara for doing 'the right thing' while some urged the presenter to take the money as a reward for his career.

Another wrote: “There’s a load of cash in Saudi Arabia but for who Chris Kamara?”

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Kamara joined Leeds United in 1990 on a transfer from Stoke City, choosing Elland Road over his hometown club of Middlesbrough at the time. The star helped the Whites to the Second Divison title in that year but rarely featured the next season as he battled injury, before moving on to Luton Town.

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