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Qatar makes play into padel with new sports tour investment

March 14, 2022 GMT
PSG president Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaïfi watches from the stand during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PSG president Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaïfi watches from the stand during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PSG president Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaïfi watches from the stand during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PSG president Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaïfi watches from the stand during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
PSG president Nasser Ghanim Al-Khelaïfi watches from the stand during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, France, Sunday, March 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

LONDON (AP) — Qatar’s investment in sports has extended to the ownership of Paris Saint-Germain launching a new global tour for the squash-tennis racket game of padel.

The Qatar Sports Investments-backed Premier Padel tour has scheduled at least 10 tournaments each year — starting in Doha later this month.

The event will coincide with world football officials and coaches being in the Qatari capital for the draw for the finals of the World Cup — the most significant sporting investment by the energy-rich Gulf nation.

Qatar’s involvement in padel is an attempt to gain more control of the sport from the existing World Padel Tour backed by the Estrella Damm beer company.

The Premier Padel series is being governed by the International Padel Federation that has existed as a governing body for 31 years.

QSI is headed by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, a former tennis professional who has emerged as one of the key figures in world football. He is president of PSG, chairman of the European Club Association, a member of the UEFA executive committee and head of major sports rights holder beIN.

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