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CAIRO – 31 May 2017: Saudi-led Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper took to its official account on Twitter to protest the alleged ‘mistreatment’ faced the Saudi Arabian El-Helal team at Al-Doha international airport in Qatar.
Al-Helal was scheduled to meet the Iranian Esteghlal Khuzestan football team within the 2017 AFC Champions League round of 16 fixtures.
Unlike their Iranian counterparts, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper cited that El-Helal delegation was not given any facilities. They were not even offered breakfast at the airport, it added.
“What we have seen from the Qatari side showed that they are unwilling to see us there. They support the Iranian team to distract us.” A member from the team’s delegation said, according to Al-Eqtisadiah.
“For the first time, electronic screening devices were installed in the (match’s) stadium in order to inspect Saudi media photographers and reporters accompanying the team delegation.”
Qatar and Saud Arabia diplomatic relationships have long been strained since the 2011 Spring Arab uprisings over Qatar’s alleged support to the extremist groups which threaten the peace and security of the whole region.