If you’re an avid Barca fan currently living in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi and want to insist on showing your colours then it’s probably best that you fork out money for the new kit, or tape over the sponsor’s logo on your old ones. The Gulf Nations have fallen into political turmoil this week with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and The United Arab Emirates severing links with Qatar due to claims of the latter country has connections with extremist groups. As part of this cord cutting, Qatar Airways flights have been blocked from entering any of these countries and so much as a mention of the countries name could land you in trouble. The United Arab Emirates have introduced strict laws on anyone who is deemed to be sympathising with Qatar and breaking their new laws could land one in prison for 15 years or face a €125,000 fine. https://twitter.com/l_Haya_l/status/872586518564614144 The UAE Attorney General DR. Hamad Saif Al Shamsi said that any favoritism towards Qatar will see strict action taken. In a statement made to Arabic language media on Wednesday, he said that: “Strict and tough action will be taken against anyone who shows sympathy or any form of favouritism towards Qatar, or against anyone who objects to the position of the UAE, whether through social media, or any other forms of communication.” For the many Irish living in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, the heat can be overwhelming, but those Catalan shirts will have to stay in the closet for now. But it’s not all bad for fans as the team have just relinquished their sponsorship with Qatar Airways and their new kit is now sponsored by Rakuten, so if you needed an excuse to drop a few quid on an expensive football kit we reckon avoiding 15 years in prison is probably as good as any. With all Barca shirts since 2011 being branded with the Qatar name (they were sponsored by The Qatar Foundation from 2011-2013), and its status as the 3rd highest selling football shirt in the world after Real Madrid and Manchester United, there will be plenty of people in the country who own one.]]>

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