Qatar officials have suspended live television reporting after Argentina’s shock 2-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia in the World Cup, the latest scandal to rock the contentious tournament.
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Qatari officials cut a live television broadcast after telling an Argentine journalist to stop filming while he was interviewing a wheelchair soccer fan.
In the video, an official suddenly appears and orders Joaquín Alvarez to show him his press pass before ordering the photographer to point his lens away at a block of flats in the background. “This is what government looks like,” said colleagues from the studio in Buenos Aires, expressing concern at what was happening.
The shocking incident – which occurred after on-air security threatened a Danish film crew as they were broadcasting in Doha ahead of the World Cup – occurred during a live report for a popular program on Argentina’s El Trece channel titled ‘Nosotros a la Manana’.
Alvarez, who usually hosts the show, was joking with Argentina fans about their favorite TV channel and which show they like best when he was interrupted by the anonymous official and two other men who appeared seconds later.
He was forced to stop and appear after one of his fans in a wheelchair admitted he was saddened by Argentina’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. and a live broadcast at Barwa Village, a commercial and residential complex on the outskirts of Doha that was completed in 2010 and expanded for the World Cup.
The journalist and film crew later resume filming from the back of the car, with Álvarez telling viewers that he was forced to leave the area after being told his workplace was “private”. Insisting that his papers were in order and he had all the necessary permits, he said, “I was scared and thought they were going to take me to jail.
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“The person who stopped filming got off a truck and told us in a very rude way that we couldn’t film anymore because we were in a private place. I told him we were showing something nice but they told us we had to go and there was a moment when they even wanted to take our equipment off us.”
He went on to thank fans for their support in a post on social media, raging: “We had a bad experience and what happened was totally unfair because we had all the passes and everything was fine. It’s in the past now, another tale. The thing that matters most to me Is that Argentina will play again on Saturday.”
Nicholas Magalli, who will replace Alvarez as host of the show while his colleague covers the World Cup, responded by saying: “This is an example of extreme censorship and we have to say it. They covered up the camera, they didn’t let us film, I ordered you away in a rude way, and on top of all that, they didn’t Defines the person who speaks for himself.
Journalist Tiffi Russo’s wife later took to social media to say of her husband: “No joke, he’s killing himself simply because even though he had all his papers in order, he’s away from home, he’s been broadcasting live, he doesn’t speak the language, It’s another culture and it’s censorship when you know you’re not doing anything wrong. It’s impossible to work and enjoy a World Cup like that.”
Qatari officials ended up apologizing after a similar incident less than two weeks ago involving a Danish film crew. TV2 reporter Rasmus Tantouldt was speaking as part of a live broadcast when he was approached by security staff who appeared on a golf cart next to the newly opened Chedi Hotel in Katara Cultural Village.
Tanholdt offered to accredit him before accusing the henchmen of wanting to break the camera equipment. He later said he had received an apology from the Qatar Supreme Committee, the body that organizes the World Cup.