Saudi Arabia defender signs new contract at Pro League runners-up Al-Ahli

Motaz Hawsawi played against Romelu Lukaku in March. (AFP)
Updated 22 May 2018
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Saudi Arabia defender signs new contract at Pro League runners-up Al-Ahli

  • Motaz Hawsawi signs until 2022
  • Defender is now hoping to make the final World Cup squad

Saudi Arabia national team defender Motaz Hawsawi received a boost on the eve of the World Cup after it was announced he has signed a contract extension at Al-Ahli.
Hawsawi had one year to run on his existing contract with the Jeddah giants, but the club have moved to tie him down long term and contract him until 2022.
The extension is a reward for a season that saw the 26-year-old make 32 appearances as Al-Ahli finished runners-up to Al-Hilal in the Saudi Pro League and then reach the last 16 of the AFC Champions League where they were knocked out over two legs by Al-Sadd.
Hawsawi is with Juan Antonio Pizzi’s World Cup squad in Zurich and hopes are high that he will make the final 23-man squad submitted on June 4. However, he has only started one game under the Argentine — and that was the 4-0 defeat to Belgium against Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard. Hawsawi has won nine caps since his coming on as a half-time substitute against Georgia in 2014.
News of Hawsawi committing his future to the club will be welcome news for new coach Pablo Guede. The Argentine has already seen star striker Omar Al-Somah and key defender Mohamed Al-Fateel pen new deals, creating a sense of stability at the club ahead of the new season.

 


Qatar in talks to buy stake in Leeds United

Updated 26 May 2019
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Qatar in talks to buy stake in Leeds United

  • QSI’s chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged with corruption in connection with the bidding process for this year’s world athletics championships in Doha
  • Leeds United plays in the second tier of English professional football, the Championship, and will be Qatar Sports Investment’s (QSI) first venture into British football

DUBAI: Qatar is in talks to buy a stake in UK football club Leeds United, the Financial Times reported.

Leeds United plays in the second tier of English professional football, the Championship, and will be Qatar Sports Investment’s (QSI) first venture into British football. It currently controls France’s Paris Saint-Germain.

“Qatar Sports Investments will be entering English Football, and Leeds is the club of their choice,” a person familiar with the talks told FT. “Qatar has been looking into the prospects of entering English Football for the past two years.”

QSI’s chief Nasser Al-Khelaifi was charged with corruption in connection with the bidding process for this year’s world athletics championships in Doha, judicial sources said.

Al-Khelaifi, who is also the boss of Qatari television channel BeIN Sports, has been under investigation since March in a probe of the bidding process for the 2017 and the 2019 world championships.

French prosecutors are looking specifically at two payments of $3.5 million in 2011 by Oryx Qatar Sports Investment, a company jointly owned by Al-Khelaifi and his brother Khalid, to a sports marketing firm run by Papa Massata Diack.

Diack’s father Lamine Diack was president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) from 1999 to 2015 and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

As well as probing the world athletics championships the French investigation is also examining circumstances in which the Olympic Games were awarded to Rio de Janeiro for 2016 and Tokyo for 2020.

Prior to the decision to charge him, Al-Khelaifi had been questioned in March as “person of interest” in the case revolving around the 2011 payments by Oryx which were made at a time when Doha was seeking to host the 2017 world athletics championship and the 2020 Olympics.

Investigators were seeking to determine whether, in return for the payments, Lamine Diack used his influence to gain votes for Doha among IAAF members and also to obtain a date change for the competitions to avoid the heat of the Qatar summer.

(With AFP)