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Sudan cracks down on sports newspapers

September 10, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese National Council for Press and Publications on Saturday ordered the suspension of six sports newspapers in the country.

Bakri Abdelgadir-Babeker (R) of Sudan's Hilal battles for the ball with Emmanuel Anyanwu of Nigeria's Enyimba during their African Champions League (CAF) soccer match in Khartoum September 9, 2011 (Reuters)
Bakri Abdelgadir-Babeker (R) of Sudan’s Hilal battles for the ball with Emmanuel Anyanwu of Nigeria’s Enyimba during their African Champions League (CAF) soccer match in Khartoum September 9, 2011 (Reuters)
The highest authority that oversees press affairs said that the affected newspapers have committed the administrative and editorial violations.

In recent months columnists in sports newspapers have raised eyebrows for trading fierce criticisms at one another that at times were deemed abusive by the authorities.

A senior official at the council said that the sanctioned newspapers played a major role in fueling violence at sports venues through “overcharging” the audience who attend the matches after reading fiery columns.

The council also issued final ultimatums to three other newspapers and referred twenty seven journalists to court.

Sudan Tribune has learned that the suspended newspapers include Habib al-Balad that champions al-Hilal club as well as Alam al-Nojoom and al-Zae’em which backs the rival al-Mirreikh club and owned by the prominent Sudanese businessman Jamal al-Wali.

The council’s Secretary General El-Obeid Ahmed Marawih told reporters that the suspended newspapers have six months to make changes if they are to resume publication. As far as the journalists, he said that court will be the ultimate deciders of their fate.

(ST)

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