Photo courtesy of Bein Sports website
CAIRO – 16 June 2017: Qatar’s privilege to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup may be at risk after its ongoing row with other Arab Gulf states, Al Arabiya reported Tuesday.
“Since the outbreak of the crisis involving Arab powers, the import-dependent Gulf state of Qatar has been facing grave socioeconomic consequences; and the sports arena is no exception,” the Saudi Arabian newspaper said.
went on to argue that Qatar’s long-standing pursuit of a hoped-for “monopoly on sports” is now “threatened” by its issues with its Gulf neighbors.
It argued that Qatar’s chances to host the 2022 World Cup are at risk, since the tiny emirate regularly imports most of the material needed to build sports venues through its land border with Saudi Arabia.
On June 5, along with Egypt and Libya, the U.S.-backed Gulf states of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates decided to break diplomatic ties and impose a trade embargo on the energy-rich country, closing ports and airspace to Qatar.
Al Arabiya also reported that Qatari state-owned BeIn Sports has witnessed a huge slump in the sales of receivers and codes in Saudi Arabia following its move to block all Qatar-affiliated broadcasters in late May.
Al Arabiya also argued that Qatar is resorting to its “renowned players” to promote themselves as victims of the blockade in a bid to gain global sympathy. It cited a YouTube
that exhibited former Barcelona player and Qatari Al Sadd player Xavi calling on the Gulf states to lift their “blockade” against Qatar.
Current Al-Rayyan players, the Dutch football twins Frank and Ronald de Boer, tweeted in support of Qatar and against what they also described as a “blockade.”
Also, former Real Madrid and a current Qatar-based Al-Sadd keeper Iker Casillas amounted to the same thing in a previous tweet he shared a few days earlier, which the Spanish star later deleted.
“The Qatari national team donned their official t-shirts with the phrase ‘Tamim, the glory,’ during their game with South Korea in Doha on Tuesday,” Al Arabiya said. It cited experts who said the action is a “flagrant contrivance” to globally-acknowledged FIFA laws which require players to abstain from displaying their political or religious affiliations.
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