Yes, the World Cup of soccer is going on and you don’t need to be a soccer fan to hear some of the goings on!
Gordon Dimmack reports that English journalists are talking about how nice Russians are being to them, one even said that they were “too friendly”. Gee, why do you suppose they thought that Russians were going to be less than friendly towards them? Hmmm.
— Gordon Dimmack (@GordonDimmack) June 18, 2018
Also, I have some fallout to report from the tournament’s opening match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. You may have heard that Russia beat the higher-ranked SA soundly. Needless to say that didn’t go over very well in Saudi Arabia.
The first shot across the bow was when Saudi Arabia began to publicize that they were thinking of taking legal action against Qatar (a country currently out of favor with SA) over what they said was biased and negative coverage of the match on Al-Jazeera:
Saudi Arabia is accusing Al-Jazeera’s international sports network BeIN of one-sided coverage of yesterday’s soccer World Cup game, in which hosts Russia thrashed the Saudi national team 5-0, and has threatened legal action against the network.
One problem with that little SA hissy fit is that it brought to light the pirated soccer TV coverage in Saudi Arabia.
Fifa has confirmed that it is considering taking legal action against Saudi TV station BeoutQ, which it claims has been illegally broadcasting the 2018 World Cup in the Middle East.
Ooops! Maybe the Saudis should have just kept their mouths shut? And maybe the timing of blocking Qatar’s Al-Jazeera could have been better??
The illegal coverage has grown out of a trade ban between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which means fans in the former country are not able to watch BeIN. This has resulted in the World Cup not being officially broadcast in Saudi Arabia, despite its national team featuring at the tournament for the first time since 2006.
And you thought soccer was just about some robust young men kicking a ball around. ;~)
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