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Saudi Arabia

Sports newspaper suspended over headline

Saudi Minister of Culture and Information Abdulaziz Khoja yesterday suspended publication of the Jeddah-based sports newspaper Al-Nadi for allegedly printing indecent content on its pages.
The incident could cost the job of Al-Nadi’s editor, Badr Al-Ghanmi, who also was suspended.
Allegations over the paper’s content came to light after its coverage yesterday of Saudi football teams Al-Shabab and Al-Fatah game on Thursday night. Al-Shabab won the match 2-1.
Despite winning the game, several of Al-Shabab’s fans complained to the minister on Twitter about Al-Nadi’s headline, which used a lewd term.
In a statement, Minster Khoja confirmed that, “The paper has been suspended, as well as the editor, because it has exceeded in its headline contents the limits, which represents our values and principles.”
Khoja said, “We [the ministry] will be dealing in similar manner with all sports supplements, newspapers and other media including satellite televisions and radio channels that fall within the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Information, which do not adhere to our values and accepted ethical code in their coverage.”
Reached for comment, Badr Al-Ghanmi told Arab News late yesterday, “I saw nothing wrong in the way the headline was written.” He also said he hasn’t received any official letter from either the ministry or his employer.
Al-Ghanmi said he became aware of his suspension from Twitter.
Al-Nadi is expected to be suspended for three days and could face fines over the incident.
The digital version of the paper has been since removed.

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