Bahrain, which is engaged in a bitter diplomatic rift with near-neighbour Qatar, has confirmed it is banning satellite decoders and receivers capable of receiving beIN Sports, which is based in Qatar.
Moreover, Bahrain is to forbid the sale or renewal of subscriptions to beIN Sports.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Information, which once had the reputation of being a fair and balanced administration, now says it has stepped up its inspection campaign on shops that sell receivers “and will deal with them in accordance with the laws and regulations in force in Bahrain”.
A statement, issued via the Bahrain News Agency said: “beIN Sports are blatantly involved in suspicious cases linked to supporting terrorism and extremist groups and to promoting the discourse of sedition, hatred and extremism in the region,” the ministry said. “The channels were also found, mainly during the broadcasting of FIFA World Cup matches, to be involved in campaigns of political distortion against several Arab countries and in abuses to discredit them.”
“We reiterate our consistent position of denouncing the policy adopted by the beIN Sports channels that intrudes politics into sports in order to achieve personal gains that clash with the universal goals of sport,” the ministry added.