Sports

Qatar World Cup officials interrupt live broadcast and order TV crew to leave

This is the moment when hardline Qatari officials cut a live TV broadcast after telling an Argentine journalist to stop filming as he interviews a soccer fan in a wheelchair.

A tall man in Arabic robes and a headscarf orders Joaquín Alvarez to show him his press pass before ordering the photographer to point his lens at a block of flats.

“This is what the government of Qatar looks like,” said colleagues from the Buenos Aires studio as they expressed concern about what was happening.

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Hard-line Qatari officials have reached out to cut off a live television broadcast after telling an Argentine journalist to stop filming as he interviews a soccer fan in a wheelchair.

The TV reporter tries to discuss the unnamed officials after they interrupt his live broadcast

The TV reporter tries to discuss the unnamed officials after they interrupt his live broadcast

A Qatari official raises his hand to a reporter's camera after a live broadcast on Argentine television is interrupted

A Qatari official raises his hand to a reporter’s camera after a live broadcast on Argentine television is interrupted

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The broadcast was forced off after officials insisted the Argentine reporter and his crew could no longer film

The broadcast was forced off after officials insisted the Argentine reporter and his crew could no longer film

The shock incident, which occurred after the Danish film crew was threatened by security men on air while they were broadcasting in the capital, Doha, before the World Cup, occurred during a live report of a popular program on the Argentinean channel El Trece, entitled Nosotros a la Mañana.

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 prove he was working seconds after a wheelchair-bound fan who was fooling around admitted he was ‘sad’ about the South American nation’s shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their first match of the tournament.

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.

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The journalist and the 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 where “private” was.

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.

The person who stopped filming got out of 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 doing something nice but they told us we had to go and there was a moment when they even wanted to take our equipment off of us.”

A Qatari official appears to order an Argentine television crew off the air while interviewing a fan in a wheelchair

A Qatari official appears to order an Argentine television crew off the air while interviewing a fan in a wheelchair

The crew's camera focuses on an empty street during the live broadcast, apparently after they have been ordered to stop filming

The crew’s camera focuses on an empty street during the live broadcast, apparently after they have been ordered to stop filming

He thanked well-wishers for their support in a social media post, bubbling: ‘We had a bad experience and what happened was totally unfair because we got all our passes and everything is fine.’

“It’s in the past now, another tale.” The most important thing for me is that Argentina will play again on Saturday.

Nicola Magali, 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 the camera, they didn’t let us film, they told you to turn away in a rude way and on top of that they didn’t identify the person talking about themselves.”

Journalist Tiffi Russo’s wife later took to social media to say of her husband: ‘No joke, he’s simply brushing himself off because even though he had all his papers in order, he’s away from home, he’s been broadcasting live, and he’s not . We speak the language, it’s another culture and it’s censorship when you know you’re not doing anything wrong.

“It is impossible to work and enjoy a World Cup like this.”

Qatari officials ended up apologizing after a similar incident less than two weeks ago involving a Danish film crew.

The row came days after another Danish TV2 journalist, Rasmus Tantouldt, was sacked from broadcasting after Qatari security personnel threatened to destroy his camera if he did not stop filming (pictured)

Danish reporter Rasmus Tantouldt was interrupted while he was presenting live on TV in Qatar

Security officials objected to his filming and soon threatened to destroy his camera

Security officials objected to his filming and soon threatened to destroy his camera

A guard tries to explain that he cannot film despite his credentials

A guard tries to explain that he cannot film despite his credentials

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.

They told him he was not welcome on filming, and threatened to smash and destroy his camera.

“I’ve invited the whole world here,” Tantoltt replied. “Why can’t we film? It’s a public place.”

Then he added: You can break the camera. Want to break it? go ahead. You threaten us with breaking the camera.

Earlier in the month, an American journalist claimed he was told by security to delete a photo he had taken of a logo on a wall in Qatar’s World Cup media center, because it was “not allowed”.

And on November 21, an Argentine TV reporter was robbed live while she was reporting in Qatar on the World Cup, as a wallet and documents were stolen from her handbag.

Metzger (left) said she was dancing with locals while she was on the air, and only realized after the items were taken from her purse.

Metzger (left) said she was dancing with locals while she was on the air, and only realized after the items were taken from her purse.

The report showed footage from a time when the reporter was dancing in the crowd, catching the faces of some people close to Metzger. She said Qatari officials will be able to identify the suspect using facial recognition technology

Dominique Metzger, a journalist at TN, was broadcasting from Doha’s Corniche area in the run-up to the first game of the tournament when she said the items were stolen.

Curiously, the journalist claimed that the police then asked her what kind of punishment she wanted the alleged pickpocket to receive if they were caught, and she allegedly asked, “Do you want us to sentence him to five years in prison, to be deported?”

I told them I just wanted my wallet back. “I’m not going to make a decision about the justice system,” she told TN.

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