Qatar Football Association – according to QFA website
CAIRO – 7 June 2017: The latest developments in the ongoing Qatari diplomatic crisis between the Gulf state and its neighbors have affected the sports industry in Qatar, given the significant influence of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the field of sports and recreation.
Professional sports play a vital role in the Qatari economy, with the small Gulf country investing millions of dollars per year in the sporting industry. Qatar’s sponsorship of Gulf and international football clubs attracts famous names to play in their national league, and Doha-based TV network ‘beIN SPORTS’ owns exclusive broadcasting rights to major world sporting competitions.
Following the recent diplomatic crisis, the Egyptian Football Federation has decided to sever all relations with beIN SPORTS and requested all Egyptian sporting clubs do the same. The biggest football teams in Egypt, Al-Ahly and Zamalek S.C. have already announced their decision to boycott the network. Former Egyptian national player Ahmed ‘Mido’ Hossam has also terminated his contract as a talkshow sports pundit with beIN SPORTS.
The Saudi Arabian team Al-Ahli Saudi F.C. have also terminated Qatar Airways airline sponsorship of the team, according to a recent club statement.
It is expected that Qatar will no longer be able to host the next Gulf Cup of Nations football tournament scheduled to take place in December 2017 in Qatar. Doha’s biggest fear now is that this decision may affect Qatar’s prospects to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, a tournament which the country has been preparing for since its successful bid in 2010.