Israel to provide free broadcast of World Cup to Arab states

Israeli national broadcaster to provide free Arabic coverage across Middle East of world's largest sporting event.

Gary Willig ,

Soccer (illustration)
Soccer (illustration)
Flash 90

Israel's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday that Israel will broadcast the upcoming Soccer World Cup to Arab states in the Middle East via satellite free of charge.

The free broadcasts will include pregame coverage and commentary in Arabic.and will be provided by Kan, Israel's national broadcaster.

Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia all qualified for the World Cup. However, Egypt did not purchase the rights to broadcast the tournament.

Nornally, soccer fans in Arab countries have to purchase a subscription to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera network in order to watch the World Cup, the most widely-watched sporting event in the world.

However, Egypt, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Qatar last year over Qatar's support for terrorist organizations, and Al Jazeera has been banned in Egypt since 2013.

The World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 through July 15.