The Sudanese security service confiscated the print runs of two sports newspapers on Monday, for reporting on the ban which the international football federation FIFA imposed on Sudan.
Members of the Sudanese security apparatus (NISS) confiscated the copies of El Zaeem and El Zawiya before their distribution on Monday morning.
Earlier this week, the NISS instructed all Sudanese newspapers and satellite channels not to report on the debacle, except in accordance with given directives that do not criticise the parties and people which caused the FIFA to suspend all of Sudan’s international football activities.
On 6 July, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) froze the membership of its local branch, the Sudan Football Association (SFA) because of interference by the Ministry of Justice in enforcing the appointment of a new chairman of the association.
‘Sports tied to politics’
Journalist Faisal El Bagir, the Coordinator of the network Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), commented that the confiscation of the sports newspapers “shows that sports are tied to politics, and sports journalism is not far from the grip of the security apparatus”.
“I do not rule out that in the future, the NISS will tell newspapers to report on the victory of a particular team.”
On 18 June, agents of the NISS confiscated the entire print-run of Akhir Lahza newspaper for the second day in a row, without providing any reason.