Fans in the Middle East had a World Cup to forget this summer after TV station Al-Jazeera suffered terrible coverage problems throughout the tournament's biggest games, including the South Africa/Mexico opener which was plagued by 20 minutes of interference.
The Guardian have since uncovered "secret documents" which reveal the signal was in fact being jammed as part of a revenge sabotage plot by Jordan— the country, not the Page 3 slag—after a deal with Al-Jazeera to screen WC2010 fell through.
The Jordanian establishment have long had a frosty relationship with Al-Jazeera, claiming it promotes an anti-Israel bias. When negotiations for the station to provide free public screens for the tournament stalled, one official blamed the breakdown on a political agenda, saying:
Al-Jazeera was and is punishing the Jordanian people, who have the love of sports in their blood
According to the Guardian, the complex signal jamming process, which is illegal under international treaties, couldn't have been done without the Jordanian government's knowledge.
Al-Jazeera may still face legal action from angry fans who paid up to £75 to watch the disrupted tournament coverage at home.
This post, written by Richard Gilzene, is republished with permission from The Spoiler. Go there often if you like soccer stuff.