June 6 – Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Zamalek have announced they will boycott the Qatari-owned television network beIN Sports following the damaging diplomatic rift between Qatar and several Arab countries, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
In the dispute’s first direct effect on football, Zamalek’s president Moratada Mansour decided to ban BeIn reporters from entering the club’s premises or covering any press conference before Al Ahly decided to follow suit.
BeIN hold the rights for CAF Champions League games in Middle East and North Africa but won’t be allowed in for Zamalek’s game against Ahli Tripoli according to Mansour.
“Zamalek won’t permit beIN to broadcast our game against Ahli Tripoli , we won’t allow their cameras into the stadium. We hope Al Ahly and Smouha support our decision and take the same action,” he was quoted as saying.
Minutes later, Al Ahly’s executive manager Shereen Shams, announced his club was also stopping cooperation with the network.
In another development, former Tottenham and Marseille striker Mido, now coach of Wadi Degla has stepped down from his role as a pundit for the Qatari network. “Today I apologize I can’t continue working at beIN sports,” Mido has said on his twitter account.
Meanwhile sports fans in the UAE, another of the six countries who have cut off diplomatic links with Qatar over alleged support of terrorist groups, have been reporting they can no longer access beIN Sports which was originally launched as Al Jazeera Sport in 2003 before it was re-branded 10 years later.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org