CAF issues veiled threat over beIN Sports boycott
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has released a statement criticizing Ahly and Zamalek involvement in the Qatar-Saudi Arabia diplomatic row.
The statement issued on June 21 by CAF did not mention any by name, but the message was very much directed at the decision of the Egyptian FA, Al Ahly, Zamalek as well as several other clubs in Egypt to boycott beIN Sports. According to CAF, the Cairo giants could come under sanctions if they follow through with their decision in the CAF Champions League.
On 5th June, 2017, Mortada Mansour and Sherin Shams announced that beIN Sports was banned from entering their respective clubs’ premises and from covering their press conferences. This was in the wake of Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries, which included Egypt, severing ties with Qatar.
In response, CAF has come out to reiterate the importance of separating politics from football. Its statement called upon football stakeholders to uphold the principles of neutrality and independence with respect to political matters. CAF termed adherence to this principle as “part of the statutory missions of CAF and FIFA, as well as the obligations of member associations.”
CAF looked to remain diplomatic in not singling out any of the two clubs. But it did issue a veiled warning to the two. This is in light of, Qatari, beIN Sports holding CAF Champions League broadcasting rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
CAF stated that it will be “particularly vigilant as regards respect for these principles of neutrality and independence in all future games played under its aegis.”
The statement concluded: “Particular attention of all Organising Committees for CAF Competitions, including the CAF Organising Committee for Interclub Competitions, as well as the Match Commissioners and General Coordinators, has been drawn specifically to these issues.
The Match Commissioners and General Coordinators will make the necessary findings and reports, while the relevant Organising Committees will take appropriate sanctions in accordance with the applicable regulation.”
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