Nearly 2,500 compete in Saudi Arabia’s second Baloot championship

The tournament drew 2,480 participants on Saturday. (AN photo by Ahmed Fathi)
Updated 28 October 2018

Nearly 2,500 compete in Saudi Arabia’s second Baloot championship

  • The winning team were given SR1 million ($0.26 million), the second SR500,000, the third SR300,000, and the fourth SR200,000

RIYADH: The Kingdom's second Baloot championship, sponsored by the General Sport Authority, ends today at the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Olympic Stadium.
The 12-day tournament has had 2,480 participants, selected from a random lottery system, and more than 140,000 registered. The participants were of different generations and from different parts of the Kingdom, all united by their love for the popular Saudi card game.
Abdulkarim Al-Shiha, one of the supervisors on the judging committee, told Arab News that it had been a triumph in organization to get all players to play under one system as the rules are slightly different from region to region, and even from household to household.
He said the tournament was not short of excitement and sometimes the results were one-sided when participants lost without scoring any points. "There were times that I encountered when a participant refused to play because when he sat down at the table he found he would be playing against his uncle and would have to forfeit out of respect for his elder,” Al-Shiha said, adding that there was a father-and-son team who played well but came short and were eliminated.
The winning team were given SR1 million ($0.26 million), the second SR500,000, the third SR300,000, and the fourth SR200,000.
Baloot is believed to have been brought to Hijaz by Indian immigrants at the time of the Ottoman Empire, and then spread all over the country when it was unified under the Saudi rule.


Saudi anti-graft agency probes 105 corruption cases in different sectors

Updated 08 July 2020

Saudi anti-graft agency probes 105 corruption cases in different sectors

  • A Nazaha official said the Kingdom will continue to pursue cases of misappropriation of public money
  • The cases involved fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption

RIYADH: The Saudi Control and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has initiated 105 corruption cases in the health, interior, power, and education sectors.
The cases involved fraud, bribery, and financial and professional corruption.
A Nazaha official said the Kingdom will continue to pursue cases of misappropriation of public money and harming state interests.
One of the cases involves the arrest of three employees working at the Saudi Electricity Co. for receiving a bribe amounting to €535,000 ($604,570) from a French company and opening bank accounts in another country (at the request of the company) for money laundering. Another case is the arrest of a university faculty member for asking for a bribe amounting to SR80,000 ($21,328) from a number of companies working on different projects at the university.
The authority also arrested a doctor at the Ministry of Health for violating the regulations at a quarantine facility.
A brigadier general was arrested for using his official vehicle to facilitate the passage of another private vehicle through security points during the curfew period.