Roberto Mancini will manage his first game as Saudi Arabia boss at St James’ Park later today but the venue is likely to be empty.
This has been reported by La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, who state that prices for the game involving Saudi Arabia and Costa Rica have beeen reduced heavily to make sure that they are favourable for a local audience in Newcastle. But the high likelihood is that the stadium will remain deserted during the game.
The prices are currently at £5 for adults and £3 for kids, which is quite unusual for a Premier League venue. But Corriere della Sera state that the stadium will be ‘half empty’, with Newcastle fans said to be not fascinated by the idea of watching the two sides play.
They also state that there is a possibility that fan-activists of the Newcastle Fans Against Sportswashing Association will meet at the Alan Shearer statue outside St James’ Park to peacefully protest against the Saudi ownership.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN