The UAE Football Association is protesting after the semi-final defeat against Qatar against the deployment of two Qatari players at the tournament. The coach of the finalist remains calm.
22-year-old striker Ali was born in Sudan, 21-year-old defender Bassam Al Rawi in Iraq. Since both players are under the age of 23, they can not have fulfilled the five-year edition. The Emirates Association claims to have evidence that Al Rawi’s mother was born in Qatar, not as stated to FIFA, but in Iraq.
Ali scored in the semi-final against the Emirates to score 2: 0. It was already his eighth tournament goal – record at the Asian Championships. Al Rawi was yellow-locked for the semifinals. Should the AFC grant the protest, the semi-final could be scored with a defeat by Qatar. An exclusion from the tournament would be possible.
Felix Sanchez-Bas, Spanish coach of the Qatar, was relaxed. “I’m not worried,” Sanchez said. “We have one more game to go and we’ll just focus on it and we’re going to hide all other things that are not football related.”