Sports fans in UAE celebrate return of beIN Sports

Sports fans in UAE celebrate return of beIN Sports

Dubai - It is unclear whether the channel will stay in the long term or if it is a temporary measure.



By Sarwat Nasir

Published: Sat 22 Jul 2017, 3:23 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Jul 2017, 5:30 PM

Football fans in the UAE are overjoyed that BeIN Sports has been unblocked on their television screens.
The Qatari-owned channel was blocked for more than a month due to the ongoing rift between Qatar and the Arab quartet of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
However, telecoms confirmed on Saturday (July 22) that the channel was available again. Etisalat sent out a text message to customers confirming that it was back.
An Etisalat customer care representative told Khaleej Times over the phone: "BeIN is back. It was gone for a month but it will stay now." Though, in the text message the telecom sent to its customers, they added: "The provision of the beIN package will be subject to an ongoing review."
A du customer care representative said: "The channel is back".
A sports fan in Dubai was over the moon that the channel had returned.
"To some of us beIN Sports is the only form of watching sporting events in the region. When the rift began with the nation that beIN sports home to, it was quite unfortunate that us sporting fans would have to suffer such a horrible fate of not being able to tune into sports around the world," said Jamaal Hamilton, a 23-year-old expat from Antigua and Barbuda.
"The cut off of the channels came at a time when there were numerous events happening such as the FIFA under 21 World Cup, some formula one races the FIFA confederations cup and major tennis events. To watch some of these I would have to find and subscribe to streaming services, which is very inconvenient.
"Now that it has been restored it is a jubilant moment because the football season is right around the corner and it would be truly heart wrenching to not be able to watch it from the comfort of my television. In the future, I do not think sports should be affected by political rifts. We as a society have gone to very extensive lengths to kick racism and politics out of sports and these things should definitely be separate as we have seen in the past that sports are one of the few ways to unite nations and dispel political, racial and many other disputes."
A south Indian electrical engineer in Dubai, Shamsudeen Jassim, was also ecstatic that he could watch the channel again.
"Very much happy with beIN Sports is back because that's the only channel showing football and Premier League. It's the place for all football games. I'm a big Manchester United fan and was disappointed when the channels were blocked," he said.
Sports fans on social media were also rejoicing over the return of the channel.
Omar, @9OHmar, tweeted: "BeIN Sports is back, which means premiere league for everyone".
Grant, @Captain_Buns, tweeted: "Nice to have @beINSPORTS available here again in the UAE".
Both du and Etisalat were contacted for an official statement, however, did not receive a response. It is unclear whether the channel will stay in the long term or if it is a temporary measure.
sarwat@khaleejtimes.com


More news from Sports