- PGA Tour had asked for Saudi Arabia’s financial backers to be added to lawsuit against LIV Golf
- U.S. District Court has now approved the request to add PIF and Al-Rumayyan
- PIF is expected to make an appeal over the decision before the end of the week
When the Saudi Arabia backed LIV Golf Tour was launched, the Professional Golfer’s Association (PGA) wasn’t very happy to see a number of their top players head over to the LIV Golf tour which was throwing big money to get top golfers to come over.
PGA vs. LIV Golf Lawsuit Background
The PGA took action against golfers who joined the LIV Golf Tour and banned them from playing in PGA events. This led to a lawsuit being filed against the PGA by over 10 golfers one of which was Phil Mickelson who accused the PGA of being a bully and trying to have a monopoly over golf.
The PGA decided to file a counter lawsuit against LIV Golf and stated that it had interfered with its business interests. Not long after, Phil Mickelson and the rest of the golfers who initially filed the lawsuit dropped their legal action but LIV Golf Tour took on the PGA in a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The PGA decided to make a push to add more parties to its lawsuit and asked the courts to add Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) which serves as the financial backer for the LIV Golf Tour and its governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan.
Judge Beth Labson Freeman said that she was satisfied with the new information that the PGA had provided which revealed how PIF was in the LIV Golf Tour. Based on the new documentation, Judge Freeman approved the PGA’s request to add Yasir Al-Rumayyan and PIF to the lawsuit.
The PGA Tour has just filed a motion to amend its counterclaim to include Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Yasir Othman Al- Rumayyan, PIF’s governor, as defendants “in light of recently produced documents demonstrating that they exercise control over LIV Golf.” pic.twitter.com/jNQVOt73Sq
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) January 25, 2023
Saudi Wealth Against U.S Justice System
When the PGA pushed to add Yasir Al-Rumayyan and PIF to the lawsuit, LIV Golf Tour legal representatives argued against the move stating that it would involve
dragging in parties subject to complex sovereign immunity and jurisdictional defenses based on meritless allegations.
Judge Freeman wasn’t persuaded with these arguments and her decision could now force Saudi Arabia’s PIF to reveal their financial and business dealings to the U.S. District Court which could create a strained relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia.