JEDDAH, March 10 — Saudi and Emirati journalists have quit major media outlets in Qatar, including the broadcaster of top-flight European football, they said on Sunday, as tensions soar between Doha and Gulf states.
They left their Qatari jobs after Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, which they accused of meddling in their internal affairs.
Doha has dismissed the charge, citing instead differences in regional politics.
Saudi columnist Samar Al-Muqrin, who writes for Al-Arab Qatari daily, tweeted on Sunday that the “Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information has decided to end the collaboration of Saudi writers with Qatari newspapers.”
She said that two other Saudi writers, Saleh Al-Shehi and Ahmed bin Rashed Al-Saeed, had also stopped writing for Qatari newspapers based on the ministry’s orders.
Another writer, Muhanna Al-Hubail, had received similar orders from the ministry, said Al-Muqrin.
Meanwhile, Emirati commentators and analysts announced they had quit BeIn Sports, which exclusively broadcasts matches from the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga to millions of football fans across the Middle East.
Ali Saeed Al-Kaabi and Fares Awad announced on Twitter Saturday their resignation from BeIn.
Emirati football pundit Sultan Rashed said he would stop contributing to BeIn, while analyst Hassan Al-Jassmi said he would no longer appear on both BeIn and Alkass, another Qatari sports channel.
Meanwhile, a Saudi Information Ministry source denied reports that it had closed down Al-Jazeera channel’s offices in the Kingdom. “We don’t have any plan to close the channel’s offices,” the source said in response to messages spread by social media networks.–Arab News