Ghana's Asamoah Gyan, left, battles with Egypt's Mohamed Naguib and Ahmed Shedid, right, during their World Cup playoff soccer match in Kumasi, Ghana, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. (Photo: AP)
Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera Sports TV network said it will take legal action against Egyptian state television for broadcasting Tuesday’s Egypt-Ghana match in the first leg of the World Cup playoff, a right exclusive to Al-Jazeera.
Egypt’s state TV broadcast the match on two local channels without prior announcement or approval from Al-Jazeera as tensions continue to rise between the Qatari-owned network and Egypt’s government.
Al-Jazeera announced through its channels that it will prosecute Egyptian television for infringing on its rights. During the match, Al-Jazeera repeatedly broadcast a message declaring that Egyptian TV does not have the right to broadcast the game.
Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) head Essam El-Amir told Al-Ahram's Arabic news website that broadcasting the match was the "right decision" and Egyptian TV would "air any matches it wants."
He added that he would have respected the rules governing the match's broadcast if Al-Jazeera had respected the "financial rights of [Egyptian TV] when it took advantage of its broadcast units at Rabaa."
The ERTU said on Tuesday it filed a report with Egypt’s prosecutor-general accusing Al-Jazeera of "using Egypt’s state-TV live-broadcast vehicles for 41 days" at the now-dispersed Islamist Rabaa Al-Adawiya protest camp, demanding LE200 million in compensation.
Egyptian authorities and Al-Jazeera have been at loggerheads following accusations against the Qatari network of blatantly unprofessional news coverage in favour of deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, his supporters and the Muslim Brotherhood from which he hails.
The authorities recently closed down Al-Jazeera offices and arrested several of its Cairo-based staffers, charging them with license violations. In addition, a Cairo court in September oredered Al-Jazeera Mubasher Misr, the channel's sector in Egypt, be taken off air. However, the channel continues to broadcast its programmes.