Qatar’s beIN urges FIFA action on Saudi ‘piracy’

Source:AFP Published: 2018/5/28 22:03:40

Qatar's beIN Media Group on Monday called on soccer's ­governing body FIFA to take ­legal action against what it claims are pirate broadcasters in Saudi Arabia ahead of the World Cup.

"We have requested FIFA to take direct legal action against Arabsat and the indications we have show that they are behind that," general counsel of beIN Sophie Jordan told AFP on Monday.

BeIN claims the expensively bought broadcast rights it has secured for major sporting events in the region, including soccer's biggest tournament which starts on June 14, are being undermined by pirate broadcasters operating out of its much larger neighbor.

The Doha-based company says that since October, a vast and sophisticated Saudi bootlegging network known as beoutQ, using a signal from satellite provider Arabsat, has been illegally transmitting its broadcasts.

The claim comes at a politically sensitive time in the Gulf, with Qatar boycotted by its neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, in a highly fractious  yearlong diplomatic and economic dispute.

Qatar has been isolated since June 5, accused by Saudi Arabia and its allies of supporting terrorism and Riyadh's great regional rival Iran.

BeIN cannot take legal action itself in Saudi Arabia as it says it cannot get any lawyer representation there since the start of the boycott.

It has also called on soccer's European governing body UEFA to go to the courts as beIN said last weekend's Champions League final was broadcast illegally by beoutQ.

Posted in: SOCCER

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