Saudi Arabia block OWN fans watching World Cup 2022 TV coverage as Fifa caught up in political dispute | The Sun

FIFA have been caught up in a new huge international political incident after Saudi Arabia BLOCKED World Cup TV coverage for their OWN fans.

Qatar-based broadcaster beIN created an official streaming channel, TOD, to broadcast the tournament across the entire Middle East and North Africa Arabic-speaking region.


But Saudi authorities stepped in to block the signal from being received by fans in the country, leaving Fifa scrambling to try to bring a compromise.

TOD was launched in Saudi in January and was fully operational – until an HOUR before the start of the opening ceremony last Sunday.

But the Saudi Ministry of Media publicly confirmed it had ended access to the service inside the country.

It is not a total block of the World Cup, as 22 of the 64 matches at the tournament are available in the country on a free-to-air service.

READ MORE ON WORLD CUP

USA hold shambolic England to bore draw, Wales on brink of World Cup EXIT

Argentina vs Mexico – Sky Bet offer: Lionel Messi to score a hat trick at 40/1!

Millions of Saudi fans, though, have been denied the chance to see most of a World Cup taking place in its neighbouring country.

The act has incensed the Qataris, who have broken a peace deal with their near neighbours in recent months after years of wrangling and a lengthy Saudi-led blockade of the small state by many of their Gulf neighbours.

Qatari anger is all the more intense given the Saudi Public Investment Fund – which includes Newcastle in its global portfolio – has been trying to buy a stake in beIN and agreed a massive advertising deal only last month.

Saudi’s Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, was pictured arm in arm with Qatar’s ruling Emir at the opening game and has publicly ordered all ministries and government institutions to support the World Cup.

Most read in Football

WHO'S LION IN WAIT?

England could face horror World Cup last 16 draw after USA stalemate

ENGLAND 0 USA 0

Kane misses last-gasp chance as poor Three Lions flop to dire stalemate

'SOUTHGATE MUST PAY'

England fans all say the same thing as Henderson comes on against USA

AMERI-CANT

All the reaction after dominant USA hold England to draw

HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON THE WORLD CUP

The brouhaha has left Fifa in a quandary and senior figures at the world body have privately admitted their “concern” at what is felt to be a “mess”.

Qatar is demanding tougher action from the world governing body with senior state representatives voicing their disquiet, at the highest levels, over the lack of a significant response.

Saudi Arabia will look to follow up their shock win over Argentina when they face Poland in Group C today.

Source: Read Full Article