The Qatar Football Association statement has since generated backlash from fans and sport commentators
The Qatar Football Association (QFA) has announced disciplinary action for several national team players and confirmed that Abdelkarim Hassan has been suspended for an indefinite period.
The 2018 Asian Footballer of the Year will be sidelined from the pitch and faced a 50% deduction to his salary, per a statement from QFA.
Based on the report sent by the management of the National Football Teams to the General Secretary of QFA, Hassan violated Clause No. (2) of Article (22) of the Regulations for the Professionalism of Local Football Players.
Additionally, based on Article 4/77, Article 44/2.1, and Article 9/3.2 of the Disciplinary Regulations, the Disciplinary Committee has issued a fine of QAR 200,000.
Qatar’s Bassam Al-Rawi and Mohamed Waad also face fines and deductions, with both footballers also facing a 50% decrease in pay.
Waad will receive a fine of QAR 50,000, with Al-Rawi slapped with a QAR 100,000 fine from the Disciplinary Committee.
No explanation has yet to be disclosed about what the football players did to earn the harsh consequences, however measures against Hassan have been expected.
Hassan’s standing has been tainted by a leaked Snapchat controversy that publicised his perceived lack of emotion after the country’s embarrassing elimination from the World Cup.
“Captain, a bit of a sense of responsibility, people are battling on the pitch and fighting for their teams’ titles. You’ve lost and the performance was embarrassing yet you’re fine with snapping! Man focus on the tournament, focus on honouring the team,” a fan wrote directly to Hassan on Snapchat after the exit.
“A bit of consideration to the fans’ feelings, make us feel that you are affected for letting your fans and the nation down! The media was let down as well as the officials who spent 12 years fighting the media and conspiracies,” the fan added.
In a reply, the 29-year-old footballer nonchalantly said, “Calm down. Do you think this is a war?”
The leak of the conversation led to a barrage of criticism from fans, particularly supporters of his local club Al Saad, with calls to drop their star player.
Hassan has yet to comment on the matter.