FIFA fines Egypt football team for players refusing to speak to Qatar's BeIN
FIFA has fined the Egyptian football team $100,000 after the squad's players refused to speak to Qatar's beIN sports channel during games at the ongoing World Cup in Russia.
The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported on Friday that football's international governing body imposed the hefty fine after the broadcaster filed a complaint.
The report said that Egyptian players refused to give interviews with beIN in the designated media zone during the Pharaohs' first game against Uruguay last week.
"President of Egyptian Football Association Hany Abo Rida rebuked the players for the incident and demanded they assign someone to speak to the channel during their second match against Russia," the report said.
It added that Abo Rida is attempting to convince FIFA officials to scrap the fine.
Qatar's beIN channel is the exclusive rights holder in the Middle East and North Africa region for the World Cup and the European championships.
A Saudi-led bloc of countries including Egypt cut all ties with Qatar last June accusing Doha of supporting extremism and being too close to regional rival Iran. Qatar denies the allegations.
The year-old diplomatic spat has led authorities in the boycotting countries to block beIN as well as other Doha-based media outlets.
Ahead of the World Cup, Cairo attempted to convince FIFA to let state TV show games from the tournament.
A sophisticated bootlegging network known as "beoutQ" – using a signal from Riyadh-based satellite provider Arabsat – had been illegally transmitting beIN broadcasts.
FIFA and UEFA have accused Saudi Arabia of stealing live World Cup broadcasts with the brazen bootlegging operation. Saudi Arabia has denied the accusations.