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Saudi mulls legal action against Qatar’s beIN Sports

Saudi mulls legal action against Qatar’s beIN Sports

Senior Saudi official accuses the Qatari broadcaster of “exploiting sports to achieve political goals”

Saudi Arabia is planning to take legal action against Qatar-owned beIN Sports for ‘politicising’ the FIFA World Cup, a senior official has said.

Turki al-Sheikh, the chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority, said on Twitter that beIN Sports, had been biased against his country during the kingdom’s match against Russia.

Saudi Arabia lost 0-5 to host Russia in the opening match of the FIFA 2018 World Cup.

Qatar’s beIN Sports holds exclusive rights to air the tournament in the Middle East and North Africa, and has been blocked in Saudi Arabia since the kingdom cut ties with Doha last year.

Also read: Saudi football fans may miss out on World Cup amid Qatar broadcasting spat

Without naming beIN, deputy head of the Saudi football federation Nawaf Al-Timyat also confirmed that legal procedures would be taken against a “TV channel for insulting the Saudi national team on air, a behaviour he described as absolutely unacceptable”, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Al-Timyat also expressed “profound regret and apology” to the supporters of the Saudi national football team for the “humiliating defeat.”

Also read: Thousands of UK F&B outlets remove Saudi flags from World Cup display

Earlier, the Saudi Football Federation chairman and president Adel Ezzat was quoted as stating that members of the football team will face a disciplinary penalty for their poor performance.

“We are very disappointed by the defeat,” Ezzat reportedly told the Al-Youm Assabaa newspaper. “This result is totally unsatisfactory, because it does not reflect the true level of our preparedness.

“Several players will face a penalty – goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf, striker Mohammad Al-Sahlawi and defender Omar Hawsawi,” he added.

However, Al-Timyat said that “everybody shared the responsibility of defeat as is the case of victory”.

He promised that the team would “show a different performance” in the upcoming two matches against Uruguay and Egypt.

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