UAE commentators quit Qatar’s beIN Sports amid Gulf security row

Faris Awad and Ali Saeed al-Kaabi did not give reason for sudden departure from channel formerly known as Al Jazeera Sports

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Two Emirati commentators have resigned from Qatar’s beIN Sports TV channel, just days after the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recalled their envoys from Doha amid an ongoing diplomatic row over security.

Faris Awad and Ali Saeed Al Kabi announced their resignations via Twitter, although did not specifically link it to rising political tensions in the Gulf.

“Today I ended my collaboration with beIN Sports channels,” Awad tweeted. “Thanks to those in charge, my colleagues and brothers in which I’ve found love, hospitality and appreciation.”

Awad, who was tweeting in Arabic, said that his career would continue at the Dubai One channel, which is owned by the government.

Emirati football pundit Sultan Rashed also said he would stop contributing to beIN, while analyst Hassan al-Jassmi said he would no longer appear on both beIN and Alkass, another Qatari sports channel, AFP reported.

BeIN Sports broadcasts matches from the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga. It was formerly known as Al Jazeera Sport, part of Qatar’s state-owned media empire. Al Jazeera representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Al Arabiya News.

Some have interpreted the resignations as being linked to the ongoing diplomatic spat over Qatar’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia and the UAE consider a ‘terrorist’ organization.

Other prominent figures quit Doha media outlets amid the rising tensions.

Saudi columnist Samar al-Mogren, who writes for Al-Arab Qatari daily, tweeted on Sunday that the “Saudi ministry of culture and information has decided to end the collaboration of Saudi writers with Qatari newspapers,” AFP reported.

She said that two other Saudi writers, Saleh al-Shehi and Ahmed bin Rashed al-Saeed, had also stopped writing for Qatari newspapers based on the ministry’s orders. Another writer, Muhanna al-Hubail, had received similar orders from the ministry, said Mogren.

(With AFP)

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