Asian Cup organizers review UAE complaint on Qatar players

Qatar’s forward Hasan Al Haydos (C) is marked by United Arab Emirates’ forward Ismaeil Al Junaibi (L) and United Arab Emirates’ midfielder Ali Salmeen during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup semifinal football match between Qatar and UAE at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 29, 2019. (AFP/Roslan Rahman)
Updated 31 January 2019

Asian Cup organizers review UAE complaint on Qatar players

  • The UAE lost 4-0 in Tuesday's semifinal against Qatar
  • Qatar will face Japan in the Asian Cup Final on Friday

ABU DHABI: Asian Cup hosts the UAE have protested the eligibility of two Qatari players on the eve of Qatar's appearance in Friday's final against Japan.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed to AFP on Thursday that it was investigating the case brought by the Emirati football association against the 2022 World Cup hosts.
The UAE's decision to appeal to organizers comes after Qatar thrashed the hosts 4-0 in a stormy semifinal.
According to media reports, the players in question are striker Almoez Ali, who has scored a record-equalling eight goals at the tournament, and defender Bassam Al-Rawi.
Ali, 22, is of Sudanese descent, while 21-year-old Al-Rawi was born in Iraq.
"The Asian Football Confederation has received a protest from the UAE FA regarding the eligibility of two Qatar players," an AFC spokesman told AFP.
"This protest will now be reviewed in line with the AFC regulations."
Qatar could potentially have to forfeit the match and be ordered to pay a fine, under the AFC's Disciplinary and Ethics Code.
The AFC also has the power to exclude teams from a future competition if the ineligibility is discovered after a tournament, the document says.
Their Spanish coach Feliz Sanchez insisted there was no issue.
"I'm not concerned at all," shrugged the Spaniard, after AFC moderators had tried in vain to block press conference questions on the issue.
"All the players are working with us, so no worries.
"We're very isolated (at the hotel) and we're not looking for any outside discussion," he added. "This team doesn't need any extra motivation — to play an Asian Cup final is enough motivation."
Iran made a similar protest against an Iraqi player they claimed was ineligible at the 2015 Asian Cup in Australia, which was rejected by the AFC.


Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

Updated 15 November 2019

Saudi esports world cup winner a ‘class’ role model for young players: Gaming chief

  • Prince Faisal said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s 2018 FIFA eWorld Cup winner Mosaad Al-Dossary was the kind of role model young players should be looking to emulate, according to the Kingdom’s esports gaming chief.

President of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronics and Intellectual Sports (SAFEIS), Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, told Arab News he was “proud” of Al-Dossary for his esports achievements and for showing “his class as a human being.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum, in Riyadh, the prince said the fast pace of technological advances was changing not only how people lived but their view of sport.

Equating esports to traditional sports, he stressed it was important that young people moderated their time playing video competitions. 

“Moderation in everything,” he quoted his father as telling him.

“Everything has its positives, within reason. I don’t expect our professional (esports) players to be playing for 18 hours a day. What we advocate is having good mental health, social health as well as good physical health.”

Prince Faisal said it was important that youth chose their heroes carefully, and Al-Dossary was an example of the perfect role model. 

“I’m proud of him for all of his many accomplishments in gaming, but I’m prouder of who he is as a person.”

He noted that during Al-Dossary’s winning participation in the Manchester FUT Champions Cup, in the UK, one of the tournament’s young competitors had fallen ill and was taken to hospital. Al-Dossary had ducked out of victory celebrations to go and visit his sick opponent, taking with him the green scarf awarded to world cup qualifiers which he left on the young man’s bedside table as a gift.

“I’m prouder of him for doing that, brightening up his opponent’s day, than I am of him winning the world cup,” the prince said. 

“He showed his class as a human being, not as an esports player. And that’s what we expect of all of our athletes and all of our young kids across all industries and sports.

“That’s the caliber of person that we have in Saudi, in our communities and that’s what I want to showcase to the world.”

Prince Faisal admitted that online harassment could be a problem, but said it was a global issue that could only be solved through education.

“There are errors, and esports and gaming is a new era, and it’s a new era of accessibility. Along with that comes a learning curve and an education curve,”he added.