Thinking of wearing your Barcelona football shirt on holidays to Saudi Arabia anytime soon? Well, don’t, as it now comes with a $A200,000 fine and 15 years in a local prison.
Saudi Arabia, of course, just cut off all relations with its next door neighbour Qatar whose national airline is emblazoned across the front of the famed Barcelona football shirt.
Qatar is on the nose with all of its neighbours – over alleged links to terrorism – and a group of them have effectively refused Qatar Airways from using any of its neighbours’ airspace that could ground the carrier.
The footy shirt ban could now follow in countries that sided with Saudi Arabia in the international row including the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain.
Many Barca fans have never been happy with Qatar Airways sponsoring the team’s famed shirt and its been a fractious relationship over the past six years.
So much so, both the airline and the football team have decided to part ways and Barcelona recently announced that Japanese retailer Rakuten would be the team’s new sponsor in a four year deal worth $A79 million a season. Interestingly, Qatar won the rights to the 2022 World Cup amid allegations of bribery and corruption.