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Semafor LogoKarina Tsui
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Qatar authorities apologize after blocking Danish World Cup broadcast

Karina Tsui is a Breaking News reporter at Semafor. You can reach her at ktsui@semafor.com. Sign up for Flagship, our daily newsletter that distills what’s happening in the world into a concise, insightful morning read.

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Qatari authorities apologized on Wednesday after a Danish television crew were blocked from filming during a live broadcast from Doha ahead of the World Cup.

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Rasmus Tantholdt, an international correspondent for Danish television channel TV2, was on air when Qatari security officials interrupted the broadcast.

In a 45-second clip that has gone viral Tantholdt is seen broadcasting from Doha before two Qatari men appear in a golf cart next to him. While one man waves at the camera, the other approaches Tantholdt’s cameraman and blocks the lens.

“Mister, you invited the whole world to come here. Why can’t we film? It’s a public place,” Tantholdt is heard saying. The reporter proceeded to show another Qatari security guard his reporter’s badge, which he said included accreditation that gave him permission to report from Doha.

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Later Tantholdt can also be heard saying: “You want to break the camera? ... So you’re threatening us by smashing the camera?”

Hours later, the Danish correspondent tweeted that his team had received an apology from Qatar's International Media Office and the Qatar Supreme Committee.

A statement from Qatar's Supreme Committee said the crew were “mistakenly interrupted” during the broadcast.

“Upon inspection of the crew’s valid tournament accreditation and filming permit, an apology was made to the broadcaster by on-site security before the crew resumed their activity.

“Tournament organizers have since spoken to the journalist and issued an advisory to all entities to respect the filming permits in place for the tournament,” it said.

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