Wearing A Barcelona T-Shirt In Saudi Arabia Can Get You 15 Years Jail Time

Take a walk in any city or town anywhere in the world and chances are you are going to see young and old wearing a football shirt, Manchester, Liverpool and of course the infamous red and blue vertical stripes of Barcelona.

Currently, wearing Barcelona football shirt in Saudi Arabia could see you doing a 15 year stretch in prison due to the shirts being banned there. The ban has been imposed because the Barcelona shirts are sponsored by Qatar Airways, the state owned airline of the country.

The Qatar Airways deal sponsorship deal with Barcelona was very significant at the time, when Qatar Airways announced they would be sponsoring the Spanish football team, it was the first time that the Barcelona Football club had allowed a shirt sponsor in their history. At present there is a tense political issue between Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries with Qatar’s links to extremist groups.

Subsequently Saudi Arabia has suspended diplomatic relations and shut its borders with Qatar. Closing down all transport links between the two countries along with all flights. The Qatar Airways ban has had ramifications for many flights in and out of the country, many having to divert creating much longer journeys in the process. Qatar has strongly rejected the claims of links to militant extremist organisations.

A blogger has shown how the censorship has already been put in place by showing an image of the Barcelona striker trio (Messi, Neymar, and Suarez) featuring a huge white blanking of where the sponsor should be. Thankfully the sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways comes to an end in June of this year, with the Japanese online e-commerce business Rakuten taking over the sponsorship reigns.

With this new development, hopefully the ban issued on the Barcelona shirts will be lifted. The Recent political developments could have far reaching implications for the 2022 World Cup to be hosted by Qatar. With Saudi Arabia and other UAE countries restricting access to the country, the supplies of materials and equipment having a negative effect on preparations for the highly anticipated international event.