FIFA Accuses BeoutQ Of Illegally Broadcasting Games
FIFA on Friday accused TV channel BeoutQ, which is "widely available in Saudi Arabia," of illegally broadcasting the opening games of the World Cup, according to Paul & Fahmy of REUTERS. Following FIFA's announcement, officials from Qatar -- where a TV station holds the regional rights to air the tournament -- "traded barbed comments online with allies of Saudi Arabia in the latest episode of a long-running feud." Qatari-based beIN Sports "is the only rights holder" for the World Cup. BeoutQ and the Saudi government could not immediately be reached for comment (REUTERS, 6/15).
POLITICIZED COVERAGE: In Abu Dhabi, John Dennehy reported beIN Sports was accused of "politicising the World Cup through some of its commentary." Saudi Arabia Sports Minister Turki Al Sheikh said that legal action against the Qatari-funded broadcaster "was being considered." Al Sheikh said that beIN "exploited sport for political goals in some of the commentary following Saudi's 5-0 loss to Russia" in Thursday's opening game. He posted on Twitter that this "proves the country was correct in blocking the channel." UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash also "seemingly commented on the issue, tweeting that sport channels should not carry personal agendas." In a statement, beIN said that "it was focused on delivering sport coverage" (THE NATIONAL, 6/17).