BeIN Sports issued a reminder to all of its journalists worldwide to remain politically impartial amidst the recent escalation in tension between Palestine and Israel, according to The Athletic.
The company scolded Issam Chaouali for voicing his support for the Palestinian cause and making anti-Israel comments prior to the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium.
His comments were seen as inappropriate and did not align with the company’s policy, which is to maintain neutrality in political matters
“They told you about strength and it was an illusion, about advanced technology and it was an illusion, and about an unbeaten army and it was an illusion,” Chaouali said during the 20-second introduction to the game between Manchester City and Arsenal.
“They told you about Bar-Lev, and it was an illusion. They told you about a border that is impenetrable, and it was an illusion. Don’t you understand? Don’t you understand? They are just a balloon of illusion,” he added.
According to the same source, BeIN Sports has instructed its Chaouali and all the staff to concentrate solely on sports reporting and refrain from delivering political comments, in alignment with the company’s policy on neutrality.
“As a leading global media group, we condemn any form of conflict or violence, while we champion and support people, causes, and interests of every background, language, and cultural heritage across the 40+ hugely diverse countries we operate in worldwide. Our corporate policies require apolitical neutrality and broadcast coverage that focuses on sports –which is demanded of all our staff,” explained a beIN Media Group Spokesperson to The Athletic.
The incident sparked a conversation on X (previously known as Twitter), with users taking to the platform to express their discontent with BeIN Sports’ political stance using the hashtag #We_are_all_Issam_Chaouali.
One X user shared a video from the match featuring Chaouali’s commentary ‘The crooked scale allows what they desire and prohibits what they dislike,” as spectators waved a large flag with a backdrop of Ukrainian flags stating no war.”
The user questioned the double standard of the world of football that demands you not to mix sports with politics, yet they defend Ukraine. He commented, “When it comes to the Palestinian issue, they turn a deaf ear and a blind eye, and expect you to remain neutral.”
Another X user said They support LGBTQ+ individuals in sports events and express sympathy for Ukraine, as well as promoting their malicious agendas through sports. However, when an Arab Muslim speaks up in support of Palestine, they quickly say, “Do not mix politics with sports!” adding, “The double standards are clear to us for a long time, but day by day, they become more exposed.”
Another X account used #We_are_all_Issam_Chaouali to stand in solidarity with BeIN Sports commentator, saying “Son of a noble man, you have spoken the truth, and we all stand by your side.”