The left-back was dropped from the Qatar Stars League club after rising criticism over the player’s dedication to the team.
Qatar’s Al Sadd Sports Club dropped top national footballer Abdelkarim Hassan just days after the grand World Cup concluded, in which the national team was eliminated in the first round.
The left-back was part of the Qatari national team that debuted for the first time at the tournament this year as the host country, but lost against every opponent in their group, including Ecuador (o-2), Senegal (1-3), and Netherlands (2-0).
The harsh losses and early exit prompted criticism from locals and supporters on social media, with several questioning the team’s dedication and preparation ahead of the tournament.
Critics have not shied away from their frustrations and one fan messaged Hassan directly on Snapchat to question his ’emotionless’ reaction following the losses.
“Captain, a bit of emotion.. people are battling inside stadiums for their national teams and you have lost embarrassingly and you’re still here on Snapchat. Focus on the tournament!
“Consider the feelings of the fans. Allow us to feel like you are impacted for letting us down,” the disappointed fan messaged on Snapchat.
However, Hassan’s response triggered outrage nationwide.
In a reply on Snapchat, the 29-year-old player nonchalantly said “Calm down. Do you think this is a war?”
Social media users have since come out to condemn the player for his indifference to the World Cup loss.
“Ethics is an integral part of the football game. However professional, or famous you are, the absence of morals nullifies the value of everything beautiful about you and insults your club and your country,” a Twitter user said.
Just days after the World Cup concluded at Lusail Stadium, Qatar’s Al Sadd announced the departure of the player from the team due to his “ideology that does not correspond to the goals and aspirations of the team in the next stage.”
Al Sadd did not specify whether his comment to the fan on Snapchat was the reason for his departure, but social media users were quick to link both incidents.
While some praised the club’s decision to drop the player, several others have slammed the move, stating that it is unfair after years of great performance.
“You’ are speaking this way about a player who achieved great things with the club and the national team and became the best player in Asia, and even though you signed a contract with him until the year 2024.. Whether it’s because of his responses in his personal accounts on social media or not, this statement is unfair to the player,” a writer for AlSharq said in a tweet.
Hassan has yet to comment on the matter.