UAE to remove encryption from league broadcasts

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President orders league games to be broadcasted for free.

Earlier today, football fans passionately following the Arabian Gulf League received a massive boost.

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan provided an authoritative direction for those involved to immediately remove the encryption placed upon all domestic league and President’s Cup matches.

This decision is an important step forward for the development of the sport in general given the considerable following of the local league by a large segment of the community.

 

It all started in 2013 when the thought of encrypting the games was introduced, with two of the seven games per round ending up on pay-per-view TV. Officials back then anticipated doing so would result in an increase in stadium attendances along with increased interest from the corporate sector in the league.

However, that was not the case as fans still kept away from the stadiums except for certain high-profile match-ups.

The news has been well received by those involved in the game.

Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed, honorary President of the UAE Football Federation, was thankful to the President and praised his vision for the development of the game.

"We extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, for his decision to cancel the encryption of the Arabian Gulf League matches and the President's Cup. A major step towards further support for the UAE football, and reach everyone without any exceptions,” said Sheikh Hazza.

Similar sentiment was displayed by UAE FA President Marwan bin Ghalaita, who said that the directives of the President confirm the leadership's keenness to support the sports movement in the country in general and football in particular.

"We are fortunate to have continued and sustained support from the UAE leadership for the sports sector,” said Mr. bin Ghalaita.

It’s a moment of joy for fans alike as the focus is back on getting fans interested in UAE football according to Hassan Al Hamadi, an expert in UAE football and founder of twitter account UAESoccer.

Mohammed Ahmed who tracks all things sports across the UAE via his twitter account @action_news, places an emphasis on the importance of this decision and what it means to the fans.

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"It's a historic and amazing moment not only for the league fans in the UAE, but in the entire Gulf, we have seen the joy of everyone in canceling encryption and sincerely thank HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed."

It’s a moment of joy for fans alike as the focus is back on getting fans interested in UAE football according to Hassan Al Hamadi, an expert in UAE football and founder of twitter account UAESoccer.

“For sure now people outside UAE can watch our league and it will bring back many people from UAE who stopped watching the league because of the encryption. The wise decision from his highness will make a positive change in UAE league.”

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