DOHA, Qatar (Kurdistan24) – Qatar’s national football team could face disciplinary action from FIFA after players wore T-shirts supporting the country’s Emir in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
The incident occurred during the players’ warm-up before a crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against South Korea in Doha.
The players wore white shirts with the profile portrait of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani printed on the front.
FIFA, the world football’s governing body, bans any “unsanctioned commercial, political or religious messages” on jerseys before or during matches.
The shirt was also waved by midfielder Hasan al-Haydos after he scored the first goal to give Qatar a 1-0 lead.
Haydos ran toward the touchline and raised the shirt to the home crowd to a rapturous applause in support of their nation amid recent political turmoil.
Qatar went on to win the match 3-2.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and a few other nations cut ties with Qatar last week, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.
Qatar denied the claims against it, labeling the decision from its neighboring countries to sever ties “unjustified” and with “no basis in fact.”
After the match, the team’s Uruguayan coach Jorge Fossati defended his players and condemned the “ridiculous situation” of the “blockade” on Doha.
“I don’t see something that can receive a punishment as it is a T-shirt with a picture of the Emir,” he said. “It doesn’t say anything against anybody.”
“I can’t agree with the blockade that is against the people, against the families; many families are damaged, they really don’t deserve this,” Fossati added.
Editing by G. H. Renaud