Fifa, soccer’s global governing body, has opened a tender process to select a media rights partner across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for the 2021 men’s Arab Cup, which will take place in Qatar in late November and December.
This represents a vital tournament for Fifa, giving the governing body a dry run in terms of putting on a major soccer event in Qatar, in preparation for the Fifa 2022 men’s World Cup, with that prestigious tournament set to take place in the Gulf state at the same time next year.
The tender process for the Arab Cup, Fifa has said, will allow it to “select the media companies that are best placed to achieve its objectives of providing broad exposure for the tournament, and offering fans in the Arab region a high-quality viewing experience.”
Companies looking to participate in the tender process should request the relevant documents by emailing FIFA-Arab-Cup-Media-Rights@fifa.org, with 10:00am CEST on 19 October the deadline for submissions.
BeIN Sports, the Qatar-based pay-TV broadcaster, holds World Cup broadcast rights across 23 MENA countries, in a deal struck in 2011 which encompassed both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.
The Arab Cup meanwhile will involve 16 teams in total, with the eight highest-ranked countries from the region set to play seven teams who have advanced through a qualifying tournament, as well as hosts Qatar.
In preparation for the World Cup, all games will take place in and around Doha, with seven venues to be used, including six designated to host World Cup matches.
The Arab Cup will involve 32 games over 19 days in total, with four matches per day from the group stage followed by the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final.
The teams involved are: Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Bahrain, Tunisia, the UAE, Syria, Mauritania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Sudan.