Al Ahly coach fined and suspended as row over Qatar reaches Egyptian football

Hossam El Badry was fined US$10,000 by African football's governing body and suspended for one game for snubbing the beIN Sports network following two games in the African Champions League

FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, Al-Ahly SC's coach Hossam El Badry speaks during a press conference at the FIFA Club World Cup soccer tournament in Nagoya, central Japan.  Hossam El Badry has been suspended and fined dollars 10,000 by the Confederation of African Football, Thursday July 13, 2017, for refusing to give interviews to a Qatar-based television network and attempting to boycott a news conference where the network's journalists were present. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama, FILE)
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The diplomatic row over Qatar has reached football.

An Egyptian coach was suspended on Thursday for refusing to give interviews to Qatar's beIN Sports television network and attempting to boycott a press conference where the network's journalists were present.

After finally giving in and agreeing to attend the conference, Hossam El Badry, coach of Egyptian club Al Ahly and a former Egypt international, covered the station's microphone with his hand to try and block the recording, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) said.

Mr El Badry was fined US$10,000 by CAF and is suspended for one game for the snubs aimed at beIN Sports.

Egypt is one of four countries alongside Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain to sever ties with Qatar last month, accusing it of supporting extremist groups and funding terrorism.

The beIN sports channels are owned by Al Jazeera, Qatar's flagship television network and a factor in the diplomatic standoff. The four countries want, among other things, Al Jazeera to be shut down.

The network is also blocked in the UAE.

CAF said Mr El Badry initially refused to attend a news conference following Al Ahly's defeat to Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca on June 20 because of the presence of beIN sports journalists. He did eventually attend, but either put his hand over the beIN microphone while he spoke or pushed the microphone away, CAF said.

Following a game in Egypt last weekend against Cameroon's Coton Sport, Mr El Badry and Al Ahly players refused all interviews with beIN. The players also boycotted the press conference.

Mr El Badry's one-game ban was put on hold, provided he was not found guilty of a similar offense during the remainder of the African Champions League, CAF said. Al Ahly has qualified for the quarter-finals.