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Saudi Arabia to lift ban on Qatar’s beIN Sports — source

Qatar stadium FIFA
(Photo: Jordan News)
DOHA — Saudi Arabia is set to lift its ban on Qatar-based beIN Sports, a source said Wednesday, potentially removing a long-standing point of friction and smoothing the way for a Saudi takeover of English side Newcastle United.اضافة اعلان

Saudi Arabia in 2017 banned the major Arab broadcaster, which holds rights to the English Premier League, at the start of a diplomatic and transport blockade of Qatar which ended in January.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut ties with Doha in June 2017 over allegations it supported extremists and was too close to arch-rival Iran. 

Qatar always denied the accusations. 

“Saudi Arabia’s 4.5 year illegal ban on beIN is going to be reversed,” the source close to the matter told AFP, in a sign of improving relations between the two countries. 

The source added that Riyadh was seeking to settle Qatar’s $1 billion arbitration claim over pirate broadcasts to Saudi audiences by a network called beoutQ.

Riyadh denied having anything to do with beoutQ.

Saudi Arabia’s failure to take action against beoutQ was a key reason for the Premier League’s decision last year to effectively block a £300 million bid for Newcastle that included the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

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