Calm down, you can still wear your Barcelona jersey in Dubai...
Heard about the ‘ban’ on Qatar Airways Barca’ jerseys? Well it seems like it’s fake news. No official statement has been made by authorities regarding the Spanish team’s sportswear…
Once again, it looks like the international tabloid press have been quick to jump the gun, declaring last week that the UAE (and Saudi Arabia, depending on who you ask) had imposed a ban on its residents wearing Barcelona FC jerseys adorned with the Qatar Airways logo.
This, of course, appears to be completely unfounded.
While we did report earlier last week that UAE authorities had announced that any online posts sympathetic towards Qatar could carry stiff fines and even jail time, the government has not explicitly come out with a statement regarding the Spanish team’s sportswear.
According to an opinion piece on Arab News, it appears that the controversy originated from a tweet posted on 8 June by a seemingly satirical Qatari Twitter account.
The tweet included a potentially photoshopped image of a mall shop window with the Qatar Airways logo censored out of a display of three players on the Barcelona football team.
— Ræd Al-Emadi (@Ra_ed) June 8, 2017
The tweet then went viral, being picked up by both the Mirror.co.uk and Russia Today who went on to falsely report that a ban had been imposed, claiming that Barcelona FC fans could face up to 15 years in prison for wearing their team’s colours. It seems they were taking the news of the sympathy ban (A) + the tweet (B) and they ended up at football shirts being banned (Z).
Avid followers of the club will also note that the airline’s sponsorship deal is set to run its course on 30 June, with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten due to occupy the coveted chest space for the 2017-18 season.