Al Ahly coach El Badry sanctioned for BeIN snub
Hossam El Badry, the coach of Egyptian soccer club Al Ahly, has received a one-match ban and fine of $10,000 for refusing to address reporters from international pay-television broadcaster BeIN Sports covering matches in the CAF Champions League, Africa’s top clubs competition.
The Confederation of African Football said El Badry (pictured) had been sanctioned for “violating directives and guidelines related to media operations” amid an ongoing dispute between Qatar, from where BeIN originates, and other countries in the Middle East and Africa, including Egypt.
The one-match suspension is suspended on condition that he is not found guilty of a similar offence until the end of the competition.
For Al Ahly’s match against Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco on 20 June, El Badry was found to have left the press conference room “because there was a BeIN Sports microphone. The coach finally participated in the press conference whilst covering the microphone of BeIN Sports to prevent the sound or pushing it away at other times.”
For the match against Cameroon’s Coton Sport on 9 July, it was concluded that “the coach as well as players refused to make an interview with BeIN Sports after the match. The coach did assist in the press conference at the end of the match but the players were not there.”
Players and coaches from various countries have snubbed BeIN reporters at various club and national team matches, a situation that last month prompted CAF to issue a statement calling on all stakeholders “to respect strict neutrality and independence, particularly at the political level, within the framework of the sporting events in which they participate.”
BeIN Sports holds rights in the Middle
East and North Africa to the CAF Champions League and also to national team
qualifiers, plus the Africa Cup of Nations.
Viewers of BeIN Sports in the likes of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been affected amid the fierce political row between Qatar and its Gulf neighbours.
Various countries in the Middle East and Africa, including the trio above and Egypt, cut diplomatic relations with Qatar over alleged support for terrorism in the region, accusations which have vehemently denied in Doha.
US secretary of state Rex Tillerson has been in the Gulf this week trying to help broker a resolution to the conflict.
Doha-based BeIN Sports originally launched in 2003 as Al Jazeera Sport, before rebranding as BeIN Sports a decade later.