KSA Reportedly Blocks PayPal to Thwart Qatari Sports Network


09 August 2017 | The New Arab

Saudis have taken to social media to complain that online payment service PayPal has been blocked in the kingdom amid allegations the move was linked to the ongoing Gulf crisis.

Twitter users kicked up a storm on Monday in protest over the alleged taking down of the US company’s services despite apparent denials from PayPal.

Many users linked the move to authorities clamping down on Saudis using PayPal as a loophole to renew subscriptions to the banned Qatari-owned BeIN sports.

“PayPal been blocked in Saudi Arabia!! Coz they don’t want the people subscribe in BeINSPORTS,” said one Twitter user.

The channel’s satellite receivers were blocked from broadcasting in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in June amid mounting regional tensions.

Regional kingpin Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt broke ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of fostering extremism – claims Doha has categorically denied.

The Doha-based channel was formerly known as Al Jazeera Sport and owns exclusive rights to broadcast major football leagues to the Middle East, including the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and the English Premier League among others.

Last month, the sports network began broadcasting in the UAE again more than a month after it was blocked amid an ongoing Qatar blockade.

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