WWE champion Kofi Kingston grateful for Saudi welcome

Kofi Kingston
Updated 07 June 2019

WWE champion Kofi Kingston grateful for Saudi welcome

  • Kingston told Arab News that Saudi Arabia is one of his favorite places to tour

RIYADH: Reigning World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) champion Kofi Kingston believes that what makes touring different during his time as champion is the opportunity to travel the world and perform live as a way of saying thank you to his fans. 

He said that without the WWE Universe supporting him this year his championship run would not have happened. “They demanded that it happen and we ran with it and here I am a WWE champion,” Kingston said.

Kingston told Arab News that Saudi Arabia is one of his favorite places to tour. He said it was great to perform in front of people who helped him to his position — the fans in Saudi Arabia and throughout the world who have been part of his push this year as a WWE superstar.

“I can’t wait to go to Saudi — the energy there is off the charts. Every time we go people are so excited to see us, the events are second to WrestleMania with all the fanfare and pyro. It’s an awesome time for us as performers to be part of that positive energy,” he said.

Kingston was the first WWE superstar to visit Saudi Arabia in 2014 to promote the first non-televised WWE live shows in the Kingdom. 

Kingston fondly remembers how people welcomed him and were so friendly. 

“Honestly, it was one of the favorite parts of my career. I remember I was at a coffee shop with some local youths and we got to just sit around and talk. We talked about their dreams, their aspirations, and things they wanted to see — and one of the things they wanted to see was WWE performing live in Saudi,” he said. 

The WWE champion said that these were kids who had a big dream. Fast forward years later and the WWE has had multiple successful shows.

“I am sure that those same kids were part of the crowd in some of these shows so to be part of somebody’s dream ... hope and the completion of that dream is awesome. It is an amazing feeling and it is powerful to have impacted somebody’s life in a positive way. To me that’s what it’s all about and that’s why I love coming to Saudi,” he said.

Kingston, who made his WWE debut in 2008, is set to make his second pay-per-view title defense against former two-time champion Dolph Ziggler at Jeddah’s WWE Super ShowDown. 

He is one of the longest-reigning members of the WWE locker room who has just seen his career culminate at the “showcase of the immortals” 35th annual WrestleMania, where he won his first WWE championship in his career. 

Kingston holds the record for most days as Tag Team Champion within the WWE and is also known for his innovative ways of suspending his elimination from Royal Rumble and battle royal matches.


Italy arrests leaders of Juventus hard-line ultra fans

Updated 16 September 2019

Italy arrests leaders of Juventus hard-line ultra fans

  • Arrests were the culmination of a year-long probe centered on the alleged blackmail of ticketing officials

ROME: Italian police on Monday arrested 12 leading Juventus hard-line fans as part of a major investigation into violence and extortion linked to match ticket sales.
The suspects are accused of criminal association, aggravated extortion, money laundering and violence, police said.
The arrests were the culmination of a year-long probe centered on the alleged blackmail of ticketing officials by the “ultras,” who wanted cut-price blocks of tickets they could sell to fellow fans.
They reportedly began threatening to sing racist chants during matches — which would lead to the club being hit with fines and possibly having points deducted — after Juventus stopped distributing blocks of tickets for resale in 2017, Italian media said.
Police said the hardcore groups had set up a “widespread criminal strategy to ‘restore’ lost favors.”
Those arrested included the heads of the Drughi, Tradizione-Antichi Valori, Viking, Nucleo 1985 and Quelli ... di via Filadelfia groups, police said in a statement.
Officers were carrying out 39 search warrants targeting those arrested and other suspects, with the help of police from cities across northern and central Italy, from Alessandria to Bergamo, Florence, Genoa and Milan.