Al Ahly’s coach, Hossam El Bardy, was fined US$10,000 by CAF and suspended for one game after refusing to give interviews to Qatari television network, beIN Sports.
El Bardy’s media actions occurred during the Day 5 and 6 Group D matches of the CAF Champions League, against Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco on 20 June and Coton Sport of Cameroon on July 9.
Press conference boycott
For the match against Wydad, El Bardy initially attempted to leave a press conference where beIN Sports was present. After finally agreeing to attend, the coach covered the station’s microphone with his hand in order to block the recording.
In the game against Coton Sport, the coach, as well as Al Haly’s players, refused to giving interviews to beIN Sports after the match.
According to a statement made on the CAF’s website, El Bardy’s actions “violate the directives and guidelines related to the media operations of the ongoing CAF Champions League.”
El Bardy, a former Egypt international, explained that he did it for his country.
'This is Egypt’s decision. I hope everybody understands my respecting this decision.'
Egypt, as well as its allies, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, have severed ties with Qatar, country scheduled to host the 2022 World Cup, accusing it of supporting extremism and funding terrorism.
As a matter of diplomatic standoff, the four countries have blocked Al Jazeera’s signal, Qatari flagship television network. Among other things, the anti-Qatar countries demand for Al Jazeera, owner and operator of beIN Sports, to be shut down.