The Saudi Football Federation has done well to file a complaint with FIFA over the exploitation of Qatar-owned BeIN Sports channel’s exclusive rights to the 2018 World Cup to broadcast politicized messages aimed at harming Saudi Arabia.
What happened in the channel’s studio while analyzing the football match between Saudi Arabia and Russia after it ended is a disgusting chapter of a media scene that is falling and declining every day. This was not the first time that this channel, which is supposed to be a sports channel, broadcasts political messages. Sometimes, it has even broadcast inciting messages against countries that the Qatari regime politically disagrees with.
We were hoping this channel will dissociate itself from the behavior of the mother channel Al-Jazeera which has mastered propagating strife and working on dividing Arab unity. This is in addition to the channel’s exposed work at supporting terrorism and paving way for terrorists to voice their opinions and regularly send their messages through it.
Mixing sports with politics is completely rejected. The exploitative approach of this channel which monopolizes the broadcast of World Cup matches to millions of Arabs in the Middle East is immoral and is rather hostile as it directly contradicts with the great purpose of organizing the World Cup...Mohammed Al-Hammadi
Mixing sports with politics is completely rejected. The exploitative approach of this channel which monopolizes the broadcast of World Cup matches to millions of Arabs in the Middle East is immoral and is rather hostile as it directly contradicts with the great purpose of organizing the World Cup and which is uniting all people, bringing them closer to each other, forgetting political disputes and regional interests and focusing on fun, co-existence and love.
What we see on beIN Sports does not reflect any of this as even the channel’s selection of some Arab analysts and commentators shows that the channel has an agenda that’s distant from sports and close to inciting strife and stirring problems. Therefore, the initiative launched by top sports figures in the Gulf and the Arab world on Monday under the slogan “sports without politics” is very important and it’s a civilized step that reflects Arab athletes’ concern to keep sports distant from politics.
What pushed them to launch this initiative is BeIN Sports’ insistence to involve politics in sports. We’ve noticed in the past few months how the channel’s reporters and hosts intentionally involved athletes and the audiences in political disputes which they have nothing to do with. This has called for a firm response taking a real position to end this unprofessional, unethical and irresponsible behavior.
The Qatari channel’s continuous instigation and inciting of hatred violate the media’s professional ethics and FIFA’s rules which stipulate that it is a must to dissociate sports from politics. Therefore, the Saudi move is welcomed and it must be supported to end the channel’s unsporting behavior.
This article is also available in Arabic.