Al Jazeera Sports has claimed that unnamed elements deliberately disrupted its coverage of the FIFA World Cup over the weekend.
Nasser Al Khelaifi, general manager of Al Jazeera Sport, told arabianbusiness.com in a telephone interview that the people responsible for “destroying our signal” would be found “very soon”.
His statement came after the first game on Friday, South Africa vs Mexico, was blighted by repeated losses of picture and English language commentary suddenly switching to French.
On Saturday, the broadcaster experienced further technical problems, especially during the Argentina v Nigeria match.
In an official statement, the broadcaster said: “Al Jazeera Sport would like to condemn the actions of those involved in the deliberate attempts to block its signal during its World Cup broadcasts yesterday”, condemning what it described as a “deliberate act of sabotage”.
FIFA has seemingly backed Al Jazeera’s claim that saboteurs are responsible for the outages. A statement attributed to FIFA on aljazeera.net states: “[FIFA] is appalled by any actions to try to stop Al Jazeera’s authorised transmissions of the Fifa World Cup as such actions deprive football fans from enjoying the world game in the region”.