The Ministry of Media has become aware of irresponsible accusations made in a Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) press release regarding an entity known as beoutQ. UEFA baselessly claims that beoutQ “is based in Saudi Arabia.” The Ministry of Media unequivocally rejects this claim. The Ministry of Media understands that beoutQ’s set-top boxes are available in many places, including Qatar and Eastern Europe. Moreover, UEFA’s irresponsible statement is contrary to what is occurring in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Through its Ministry of Commerce and Investment, KSA has relentlessly combatted beoutQ’s activities within the country. For instance, the Ministry of Commerce and Investment has seized thousands of set-top boxes that would otherwise be used to violate intellectual property (IP) in KSA. The Government of Saudi Arabia is and will remain devoted to protecting IP rights within the country.
The Ministry of Media is informed that beIN Sports is the source of UEFA’s reckless allegation. beIN Sports is a subsidiary of the Al Jazeera Media Network (Al Jazeera). KSA banned Al Jazeera’s broadcasts in KSA starting in June 2017. Al Jazeera is Qatar’s principal media arm for supporting terrorism and promoting instability in the region. Al Jazeera provides a media platform for terrorists to propagate their violent message. KSA has also banned broadcasts by beIN Sports in Saudi Arabia for the same reason. Al Jazeera’s response to the ban was to escalate its campaign of defamation against KSA. While beIN Sports’ broadcasts, too, have long been used as vehicles for offensive anti-Saudi invective, beIN Sports has amplified its offensive propaganda during the World Cup 2018 – which is ironic because the World Cup is supposed to be a demonstration how football can bring nations together in harmony. During the World Cup, beIN has defamed the Saudi Football Federation, insulted Saudi Arabia and its fans and has politicised the World Cup platform in violation of all rules and codes of conduct. For these reasons Al Jazeera and subsidiary beIN will never broadcast in Saudi Arabia.
The Ministry of Media accordingly urges that responsible news organisations view the reckless press release by UEFA, as well as beIN Sports’ other unsubstantiated allegations, with suspicion.