Egypt’s National Media Authority (NMA) announced on Sunday that it will broadcast 22 matches of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, including the Egyptian national football team’s matches, for free on Egyptian state television.
The Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) said in a statement that it made the decision because Egyptians have the right to watch their national team play in the international tournament, adding that Hussein Zein, the head of Egypt’s NMA, communicated with the FIFA on 6 June to obtain the rights to broadcast 28 matches in return for the FIFA setting certain fees for the authority to pay. However, the FIFA did not respond to the request.
As a result, the authority addressed the ECA, which in return decided to oblige the FIFA to grant the NMA the right to air the matches on Egyptian state television.
“The FIFA acted in contrary to its declared policy concerning allowing 22 matches to be aired on terrestrial broadcasting with the aim of unifying and connecting people,” the statement read, adding that it received a complaint accusing the FIFA of “violating” articles 7 and 8 of the Egyptian Competition Law, which leads to preventing Egyptian consumers from the right to watch their national team’s matches in the World Cup.
However, it is still unclear if the FIFA will comply with Egypt’s demands, bearing in mind that the tournament kicks off on Thursday.
Egypt, which qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 28 years, will play its first game on 15 June against Uruguay in Yekaterinburg, to be followed by matchups against Russia on 19 June and Saudi Arabia on 25 June.