Gulf Cup organising committee waits for Fifa response on UAE player

Dr Jassim al Shukaili, second vice-chairman of Oman Football Association (OFA) and supervisor of Oman national football teams, conducted a press conference to clarify about the notification letter sent by the OFA to the organising committee and the Fifa about UAE football team who included the player Mohammed Ahmed, although he should have been suspended from participating in their game against Oman as he got a red card in UAE’s last international friendly game against Uzbekistan on November 14th, 2017.

The first letter is the one written by the Oman Football Association (OFA) to the Fifa after the Arabian Gulf Cup organising committee rejected the OFA’s letter of notification regarding UAE player Mohammed Ahmed, who played the match against Oman despite being due for suspension after receiving a red card in a friendly against Uzbekistan in November. The second is OFA’s notification letter to the organising committee and the third letter is the response of the Gulf Cup organising committee rejecting OFA’s notification.

Al Shukaili emphasised that: “It was not a protest, nor a complaint but a letter of notification to the organising committee of the Arabian Gulf Cup to be noted as there is a clear term in the Fifa disciplinary codes, which states that if any player got a red card, he has to serve one-match suspension in the next friendly match. The Fifa consider the Arabian Gulf Cup as a friendly international tournament and scheduled it in their agenda”.

Al Shukaili added: “The organising committee rejected our notification letter without giving a clear justification. However, it’s a big issue that we should consider as there is a clear rule from the Fifa. We then sent an enquiry to the Fifa on 23rd of December and we are still waiting for their response.

“Fifa disciplinary codes are very clear that any player who gets a red card will be automatically suspended for the next game even if it was a friendly game, so if the Fifa respond positively and the organising committee ignores, that will be another big issue,” Al Shukaili said. Now, the organising committee of the Arabian Gulf Cup is waiting for the response from the Fifa and then it will decide.

Jaber Al Ajmi