Coverage of this summer's World Cup football games in South Africa by the Al-Jazeera satellite television was jammed from Jordan, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday. "Mysterious jamming of TV broadcasts of the summer's World Cup by the Arabic satellite channel Al-Jazeera has been traced to Jordan, which appears to have retaliated angrily after the collapse of a deal that would have allowed football fans there free access to the matches," the paper reported.
"Secret documents seen exclusively by the Guardian trace five episodes of jamming definitively to a location near Salt in Jordan, northeast of the capital Amman, confirmed by technical teams using geolocation technology. "The co-ordinates identified were 32.125N 35.766E. It is accurate to within a range of three to five kilometres."
The British paper said the interference to the broadcasts by the Qatar-based channel over the Nilesat and Arabsat satellites had affected a total of eight games.
"Experts say the jamming was unlikely to have been done without the knowledge of the Jordanian authorities," it added.
Ahead of the games Jordan tried to negotiate a deal with the channel to buy the rights of some games. "Jordan's King Abdullah, a keen football fan, sent a close adviser to negotiate the deal with Al-Jazeera," the Guardian reported. "When it collapsed on the eve of the games, one Jordanian official complained that the network's stance was 'based on a political agenda and has nothing to do with commercial or any other purposes'," it added.