Saudi Arabia's Turki al-Sheikh takes battle to UEFA

Turki al-Sheikh, head of Saudi Arabia's General Sports Authority, isn't afraid to throw his weight around.

He lobbied heavily for United 2026 against Morocco in the World Cup 2026 bid campaign. He ripped Saudi players after they lost to Russia, 5-0, in the 2018 World Cup opener. And he continued his assault on his favorite target, beIN Sports, part of the continuing diplomatic war, now in its second year, between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which owns beIN Sports.

The background for al-Sheikh's attacks on former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, former UEFA president Michel Platini and, most stunningly, current UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is the effort, so far unsuccessful, by FIFA, UEFA and beIN Sports to shut down Saudi-based channel BeoutQ, which has pirated World Cup feeds from beIN Sports (and Telemundo) and used them for itself.

For the first time, UEFA accused BeoutQ by name of piracy, saying it "poses a significant threat to European football."

In response, al-Sheikh accused of Ceferin being a man “of many faces,” whom he had refused to meet. He tweeted Ceferin “is trying to meet me, but I am telling him that I do not like to meet men of many faces."

Al-Sheikh went on to say that UEFA's accusations only masked the real issue, "the monopoly and politicization of sports by beIN Sports which you force us to watch without taking into account the feelings of 30 million Saudi citizens and all the Arab countries’ whose opinions and views had been disregarded."

UEFA responded that it was quite surprised by al-Sheikh's tweet "as the UEFA President has never heard of this person and he therefore would have no reason to meet him."

1 comment about "Saudi Arabia's Turki al-Sheikh takes battle to UEFA".
  1. beautiful game, June 22, 2018 at 9:31 p.m.

    BeIn is a quality sport media. 

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