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Fifa takes action over BeoutQ

Fifa, football’s global governing body, is set to take legal action in Saudi Arabia against the pirate service BeoutQ.

The service has been showing live coverage of the 2018 Fifa World Cup despite not holding any rights to the tournament.

“Fifa has observed that the pirate entity named ‘BeoutQ’ continues to use illegally the 2018 Fifa World Cup broadcast signal,” the governing body said. “Accordingly, Fifa has engaged counsel to take legal action in Saudi Arabia and is working alongside other sports-rights owners that have also been affected to protect its interest.”

Pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports has rights for the tournament across the Middle East and North Africa. However, the broadcaster is blocked in Saudi Arabia due to a trade and diplomatic boycott imposed on Qatar last year.

“Fifa urges the authorities of Saudi Arabia and of the different countries where these illegal activities have been observed to support us in the fight against piracy,” the statement said.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media rubbished claims that it is complicit in the operation of pirate service BeoutQ as a “malicious lie”.