Qatari officials have once again been filmed stopping a live TV broadcast by a fully accredited foreign crew on a street in Doha.
Argentine TV host Joaquín ‘El Pollo’ Alvarez was interviewing an elderly fan in a wheelchair when an official appeared and ordered the host to show his press card.
Mr Alvarez replies “yes, of course” before asking a colleague to fish his papers out of a bag.
The official could be seen getting angry when the Argentine presenter tried to point a microphone at him while he was speaking, knocking it away and ordering the cameraman to stop filming.
A long discussion ensued in which the Argentinian crew tried to reassure the official via translators.
But he refused to let them continue with the segment and ordered them to leave, telling them the area is “private”.
The brawl took place in Barwa Village, a residential complex on the outskirts of Qatar’s capital that was developed specifically for the World Cup.
Alvarez, who claimed the officer had threatened to take the crew’s TV equipment and arrest him, said: “I was scared and thought they were going to take me prisoner.
“We had a bad experience and what happened was completely unfair because we had all our permits and everything was in order.
The show’s co-host Nicolas Magali said from their studio in Buenos Aires: “This is an example of serious censorship and we have to say so.
“They covered the camera, didn’t let us film, rudely ordered you away, and on top of that didn’t identify the person who was talking.”
Mr Alvarez’s wife later joked that her husband had “s**ted himself” in reaction to the prospect of going to jail, adding: “It’s impossible to work and enjoy a World Cup like this.”
The Argentine broadcasters say the officer, who had been patrolling in a van, refused to identify himself and they still have no idea if he was employed by the government or a private security firm.
Qatar claims to have trained more than 50,000 people to provide security for an expected influx of 1.2 million visitors from around the world.
The Qatari government insisted as recently as last week that all staff had been reminded to “respect the filming permits in place for the tournament”.
The pledge was made after a Danish television crew was manhandled by a group of Qatari men who threatened to smash their equipment.
Reporter Rasmus Tantholdt was speaking during a live broadcast on a street in the Katara area when the men arrived on a golf buggy and immediately stopped the broadcast without making any attempt to request paperwork.
Tantholdt, who showed his press card and insisted they had been given permission to film there, was heard saying: “You’ve invited the whole world here. Why can’t we film? It’s a public place.’
It later emerged that the men were private security guards, and the Danes received apologies from both the Qatar International Media Office and the Qatar Supreme Committee, which oversees the 2022 World Cup.
In a statement to Metro.co.uk, a spokesperson for the Supreme Committee said: “The tournament organizers have since spoken to the journalist and issued an advisory to all entities to respect the film permits in place for the tournament.”
Another Argentine reporter, Dominique Metzger, was robbed live on air the same week.
Another incident appears to show a Brazilian journalist being harassed by officials outside a stadium after a regional flag from his country was mistaken for an LGBTQ pride flag.
And on Sunday, a British visitor claimed he was “set on” by guards as he filmed himself doing keepie-uppies with a football outside a stadium.
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