Saudi Arabia is considering legal action against Qatar-funded broadcaster beIN sports for politicising its coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, according to Turki Al-Sheikh, the chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority.
In a tweet on Friday – a day after Saudi Arabia’s national team faced a 5-0 drubbing by hosts Russia – Al-Sheikh wrote that “necessary legal action will be taken in relation to beIN wrongdoings against KSA, its sports and officials, and for exploiting sports to achieve political goals.”
Al-Sheikh added that “this proves Saudi authorities’ true stance when banning this network from airing on its soil.”
Necessary legal action will be taken in relation to BeIN wrongdoings against K.S.A, its sports & officials, and for exploiting sports to achieve political goals. This proves Saudi authorities' true stance when banning this network from airing on its soil. @fifacom_ar @FIFAcom— تركي آل الشيخ (@Turki_alalshikh) June 15, 2018
The Saudi official’s comments were echoed by UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, who tweeted that “sports are about wins and losses but the confused are those who politicise their sports channels.”
“Your home is made of glass,” he added. “This foolishness will not end your crisis.”
According to Saudi media reports, there were several instances of beIN making political comments during its football commentary.
According to Saudi media reports, there were several instances of beIN making political comments during its football commentary. In one broadcast, for example, a commentator accused Saudi Arabia of selling out Morocco’s 2026 World Cup bid “like it sold out the Palestinian cause.”
In another instance, a beIN commentator suggested that Saudi players, coaches and technical staff may soon find themselves “prisoners at the Ritz-Carlton” following their rout by Russia.
BeIN has denied the allegations and said it has refused to involve itself in regional political issues.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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