Qatar officials interrupt Argentinian live TV broadcast at 2022 World Cup

Journalist Joaquin Alvarez claimed officials threatened to confiscate his team’s broadcast equipment and said: ‘I was frightened’

Lawrence Ostlere
Friday 25 November 2022 13:18 GMT
World Cup officials interrupt another live broadcast in Qatar

Qatari officials interrupted an Argentinian live television broadcast at the 2022 men’s World Cup.

A journalist for the show Nosotros a la Mañana was interviewing a disabled fan when local officials intervened, asking to see official media accreditation.

“This is what the Qatar government is like,” a presenter could be heard saying in the studio in Buenos Aires.

Journalist Joaquin Alvarez claims they then threatened to confiscate the team’s broadcast equipment.

From the back of a car, the reporter later explained that he had been told to leave the area where they were filming because it was private. “I was frightened and thought they were going to arrest me,” he said.

“This is an example of severe censorship and we have to say so,” his colleague, Nicolas Magaldi, added.

It comes after other reported instances of Qatari officials censoring reporting at the World Cup.

Last week an Irish journalist said he was stopped by police in Qatar while filming coverage ahead of the tournament. Tony O’Donoghue told RTE how he was stopped by police while filming a piece to camera.

During RTE’s coverage of the Republic of Ireland’s friendly fixture with Norway – a game Ireland lost 2-1 – O’Donoghue explained the moment to the broadcaster.

He did, however, say he believes that the incident had stemmed from poor communication between tournament organisers and security officials – rather than the episode serving as evidence of an ‘oppressive regime’.

It followed an incident for which Qatari officials apologised after footage of a Danish camera crew being “mistakenly interrupted” on a live broadcast went viral.

Tournament organisers later released a statement, which read: “Upon inspection of the crew’s valid tournament accreditation and filming permit, an apology was made to the broadcaster by on-site security before the crew resumed their activity.”

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