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UAE football chief criticises Gulf Cup rights sales process

Yousuf Al Sarkal, the president of the UAE Football Association, has criticised the media rights-sales process for the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations and called for a committee to be established to avoid future difficulties in relation to the national team football tournament.

According to the Gulf News website, the MP & Silva agency has been asking for between $8m (€6.4m) and $15m for the rights to the eight-team tournament, which will take place in Saudi Arabia from November 13-26.

A free-to-air rights deal has not been agreed so far in the UAE, with pay-television broadcaster beIN Sports having acquired rights, the report added.

“An independent committee to take care of broadcasting is a good suggestion,” he said. “But ahead of every tournament everyone agrees on the need for a committee except for the country hosting the event. You cannot promote a tournament by selling at this number with one country and another with the next.”

He added: “If we don’t have a unified committee, we are not going to have a successful end.”