Qatari officials jumped in once again to interrupt a live TV broadcast in order to tell an Argentinian journalist to stop filming an interview with a football fan in a wheelchair.
The journalist, Joaquin Alvarez, was order to present his press credentials and the cameraman was told to point the equipment away from the officials.
This isn’t the first time that this has happened, either.
In the studio back in Argentina, the colleagues of the crew that were stopped most recently were heard to say: “This is what the government is like.”
This latest incident took place during a like segment on Argentina’s El Trece channel, with the crew coming from a popular show called ‘Nosotros a la Manana’.
Alvarez was just having a chat with a few of the thousands of Argentine fans who have travelled to the event in the Middle East, joking with them about their favourite TV show and the channel they like the most back home.
Then, the officials appeared and the joking stopped.
The interruption of the interview took place whilst a fan in a wheelchair was expressing disappointment – quite reasonably – with the national side’s defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening group match.
They did later return to filming, this time from in the back of a car.
Alvarez told the viewing public that he and his team were made to leave the area because it was – apparently – ‘private’.
Despite showing them his valid paperwork and permits, they were still made to leave.
He said: "I was frightened and thought they were going to take me prisoner.
"The person who stopped the filming got out of a van and told us in a very rude way we couldn’t film anymore because we were in a private place.
“I told him we were showing something nice but they told us we had to go and there was a moment when they even wanted to take our equipment off us."
In a later social media post, he thanks his viewers for their support, writing: "We had a bad experience and what happened was totally unfair because we had all our permits and everything in order.
“It’s in the past now, another anecdote.
“The most important thing for me is that Argentina is playing again on Saturday."
Back in Buenos Aires, the presenter who has taken over from Alvarez whilst he’s away in Qatar said: "This is an example of severe censorship and we have to say so.
“They covered up the camera, didn’t let us film, ordered you away in a rude fashion and on top of that the person doing the talking didn’t identify himself."
Argentina will look to get their tournament back on track this weekend when they take on Mexico on Saturday.
The match kicks off at 7pm UK time and – if Lionel Messi and his team can’t do the business – Argentina could be back in Buenos Aires before they’ve even really unpacked.
Featured Image Credit: Nosotros a la Manana
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