Saudi prince to journalists: "If you're not well-mannered enough, then let me educate you myself"

Sultan bin Fahd won't hear a bad word spoken about the Saudi national football team. Outraged at journalists for criticising the team on TV, the Saudi prince picked up the phone and gave them a telling-off live on TV - something that did not go down well with the Saudi web.

The sports journalists were taking part in a talk show about the Saudi team's defeat (6-5) to Oman in the Gulf Cup final on January 17. Fahd, who is currently president of the kingdom's Youth and Sports department (equivalent of sports minister), did not appreciate the commentators' tone. When phone-ins began, Fahd took it upon himself to call the show, and lecture the journalists live on TV. He finished by saying: "If you're not well-mannered enough, then let me educate you myself". The journalists, looking down at their feet, were visibly shocked. Only one of them, who's connected to the royal family, dared to talk back to the prince, who then put the phone down on him. The video has caused a stir in Saudi Arabia, where chain emails and Facebook groups are calling for the president of sport and youth to step down.

On Wednesday evening the prince was questioned over his actions by national channel al Arabiya. He explained that it was "human error", and didn't bother apologising as the journalists had hoped.

UPDATE (30 Jan. 09): the affair is still causing trouble in the kingdom. Highly influential Prince Salam, the governor of Riyadh, has joined his outraged compatriots in writing a letter to the king, asking for an end to "irresponsible behaviour" from his nephew, Prince Fahd. The letter was supposed to be private but it's already circulating the web - possibly due to a leak organised by parliament.

Images from the Saudi sports channel.

"His behaviour could push journalists to self-censor themselves"

Fahd Saoud is a sports journalist in Rhiyad. He works for the news site Elaph.com.

Coming from such an important person, this verbal assault is really quite regrettable. I can understand that the prince was under a lot of pressure when he was listening to such harsh criticism about his team, but I'm afraid that his behaviour could push journalists to self-censor themselves."

"I demand that the prince steps down"

Fowzan Alharbi is a mechanical engineer at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Riyad. He's created a Facebook group about the incident.

This is really shocking. It demonstrates irresponsibility and lack of respect. I demand that the prince steps down from his post as president of youth and sports."

Caricatures posted on Facebook

Posted on this Facebook group.


At the entrance to the TV studio: 

"Come on, don't be scared"

"No, no, I don't want to I don't want to".

Comments

this is humiliating. prince

this is humiliating. prince sultan should be forced to step down. the team performance went down due to his unresponsible actions. in a country like saudi arabia u can do whatever u want as long as u have the people to protect u. so basically this guy took advantage of being a member of the royal family, and used his power and contacts to reach his position. the national team would be better off without him. but who should we complaint to if he is the government?

Yasser

Regarding the so called

Regarding the so called letter written by HRH Prince Salman ,Governor of Riyadh ,,It's Soon was discovered that it was a FAKE One ,, No Big Deal ,The prince was upset for criticized by non professional individuals..I Think he has the right to give them a hard time .

Former players and a coach

I'd like just to correct something mentioned above, the 3 persons who were humiliated in the live studio are 2 former players and a coach not journalists.

Thank You

The prince has a right to

The prince has a right to express his opinion and defend his position just like everybody else. Whether he was tactful about it or not is prerogative, and it's not his fault that two of the three commentators didn't know how to defend themselves.

Fahd Sauod and Fawzan

Fahd Sauod and Fawzan Alharbi:

It's ironic that you guys are from Saudi Arabia and calling the guy a Sultan! He's not a Sultan, he's just a Prince!

Sultan is his first name.

Sultan is his first name. Sultan is a popular male name in Saudi Arabia.

its a shame!

Regardless to being a prince or not. NO ONE has the right to talk to people with this tone and without any sort of respect. The way I see it, he insulted himself more than he did to others.

Hanan

Oh yeah! I actually thought

Oh yeah! I actually thought his name is Prince Fahad bin Sultan not Sultan bin Fahad, lol.

But yeah, nevertheless, I do agree with the above :).

Sultan/ prince

Hi Amjad,

Thanks for pointing out the 'sultan' issue. The comments were in fact translated from Arabic and so it was our fault for using the term sultan and not prince. We have now corrected the mistake. Thanks for your help!

Sophie Team Observers

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