UAE football federation's appeal against Qatar for fielding ineligible players in 2019 Asian Cup semi-final to be heard at CAS

The UAE filed a complaint with the Asian Football Confederation after a 4-0 loss to Qatar in the Asian Cup semi-finals in Abu Dhabi last January

The Associated Press January 08, 2020 08:19:58 IST
UAE football federation's appeal against Qatar for fielding ineligible players in 2019 Asian Cup semi-final to be heard at CAS
  • A legal challenge by the United Arab Emirates football federation that threatens Qatar’s 2019 Asian Cup title will be heard at sport’s highest court

  • The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Tuesday it will hear the UAE's appeal on 12 March in a case that alleges Qatar fielded two ineligible players at the tournament

  • The UAE filed a complaint with the Asian Football Confederation after a 4-0 loss to Qatar in the Asian Cup semi-finals in Abu Dhabi last January

Geneva: A legal challenge by the United Arab Emirates football federation that threatens Qatar’s 2019 Asian Cup title will be heard at sport’s highest court.

UAE football federations appeal against Qatar for fielding ineligible players in 2019 Asian Cup semifinal to be heard at CAS

Shoes and water bottles were thrown at Qatar when they strayed within range of angry local supporters in UAE. Reuters

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said Tuesday it will hear the UAE's appeal on 12 March in a case that alleges Qatar fielded two ineligible players at the tournament. The Asian Cup was hosted by the UAE during an ongoing diplomatic rift with neighboring Qatar, which will stage the next World Cup in 2022.

A verdict by CAS judges is likely at least several weeks after the hearing in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The ruling could strip Qatar of its biggest success in world football, affect key young players in its World Cup planning, and see the UAE inflict an embarrassing loss on a regional political rival.

The UAE filed a complaint with the Asian Football Confederation after a 4-0 loss to Qatar in the Asian Cup semi-finals in Abu Dhabi last January.

When an ineligible player case is proven, AFC rules say a team must forfeit the game.

The Asian governing body’s first disciplinary ruling cleared Qatar of wrongdoing hours before beating Japan 3-1 in the final.

UAE officials have appealed to CAS against the Qatar Football Association and the AFC, whose appeal committee also later dismissed the claims of wrongfully submitted documents.

The UAE alleges Qatar’s star forward Almoez Ali and defender Bassam Al-Rawi were not born there and did not meet FIFA nationality requirements to represent the country.

FIFA’s statutes say players can acquire a nationality if they have “lived continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association.”

Both Ali, who turned 23 since the Asian Cup ended, and Al-Rawi, who is now aged 22, seemed not to meet the five-year residency rule.

However, both reportedly claimed their mothers were born in Qatar — meeting FIFA’s national eligibility standard if a parent or grandparent is born on a territory.

Ali scored against the UAE, and again in the final, for a tournament-leading nine goals. Al-Rawi was suspended for the semi-final but returned to play against Japan.

They are also club teammates at Al-Duhail, runner-up in the Qatari league last season, and fellow graduates of the state-of-the-art Aspire youth academy in Doha which has educated many players born outside of Qatar.

The latest appeal extends difficulties between the football neighbours which showed in a heated semi-final game played 20 months into an economic and travel boycott of Qatar by regional political rivals.

After Qatar took a 2-0 lead in Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium — named for the UAE crown prince — players celebrating the goal had to dodge shoes thrown by some spectators.

The UAE football body was later fined $150,000 by the AFC for the fans' misconduct, including the shoe-throwing and disrespecting the Qatari anthem.

The teams met again in Doha five weeks ago, when the UAE and Saudi Arabia agreed to travel to Qatar to play in the Arabian Gulf Cup, won by Bahrain. Qatar beat the UAE 4-2 in a group-stage game.

Updated Date:

also read

FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Coronavirus pandemic blamed for lack of VAR after Cristiano Ronaldo's complaints
Sports

FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Coronavirus pandemic blamed for lack of VAR after Cristiano Ronaldo's complaints

Portugal's path to the 2022 World Cup has been complicated by Ronaldo being denied a stoppage-time winner against Serbia on Saturday

FIFA World Cup 2022: Germany's Toni Kroos slams hosts Qatar over treatment of migrant workers
Sports

FIFA World Cup 2022: Germany's Toni Kroos slams hosts Qatar over treatment of migrant workers

Kroos' comments came after the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Norway all protested by wearing T-shirts with messages such as "Human Rights" or "Football supports change" before World Cup qualifiers over the last week.

FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Netherlands players aim rights protest at Qatar ahead of Latvia clash
Sports

FIFA World Cup qualifiers: Netherlands players aim rights protest at Qatar ahead of Latvia clash

Germany lined up before the Iceland game in black T-shirts with white lettering to spell out "Human Rights", while Norway donned T-shirts with the message "Human rights, on and off the pitch" before their qualifier against Gibraltar.