Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy claimed that he has documents which prove that Qatar has spied on thousands of electronic accounts of international personalities, including a number of Egyptian football players and other eminent figures.
The Egyptian website "Echo of the country" quoted Fahmy as saying that he was surprised when he discovered that eight Egyptian players were on the list of hacked accounts, which included politicians, academics, ambassadors and prominent figures in the state.
He cited particularly Egypt and Al Ahli goalkeeper Mohammed Al Shennawi as well as Egyptian national team and Zamalek club defender Mahmoud Hamdi Al-Wensh.
"These actions are fully in line with Qatar's subversive policies, in addition to the billions spent by Qatar in securing the right to organise the 2022 World Cup, and their clear willingness to do all the suspicious things to ensure access to the organisation and use football as an instrument of influence," said David Riboy, a senior official at the Institute for Security Studies.
Fahmy, who worked with criminal experts during the period of his investigation, said that "Qatar's cybercrime is the largest electronic sabotage in history".
According to the Canadian journalist, the network reached several regions of the world and lasted for nearly four years between 2014 and 2019.
Last year, Fahmy confirmed that hackers backed by Qatar had monitored thousands of e-mails and sometimes seized them.