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The appalling case of footballer Zahir Belounis who has been trapped Qatar for 2 years, now thinking about suicide

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

zahir belounis footballeur franco algerien coince qatar raison contentieux financier club 1324107 616x380 The appalling case of footballer Zahir Belounis who has been trapped Qatar for 2 years, now thinking about suicide

A hugely distressing story is playing out in Qatar and Fifa seem to be doing nothing about it.

Qatar, the future 2022 World Cup hosts, have been trying to fight off allegations over the mistreatment of Nepali immigrant workers in recent months, however there is anothee awful story getting less attention involving the shocking treatment of French professional footballer Zahir Belounis.

Belounis, who played for El Jaish, has been trapped in the Gulf nation for two years and is now considering suicide.

The 33-year-old has been repeatedly refused an exit visa until he drops a legal case against El Jaish over what he claims are two years’ unpaid wages.

Belounis has been told that under the kafala system of visa sponsorship, which means all foreigners in Qatar have their rights acquired by a Qatari national who takes responsibility for them – in this case El Jaish – will not be allowed to leave the country unless he drops the case.

French President François Hollande has tried and failed to extract Belounis from Qatar, and now the footballer, who has sold all his possessions in order to try and sustain his family, is said to be on the verge on ending it all.

CCN’s James Masters has been tweeting out an email and conversation he had with Zahir Belounis on Tuesday, and the details of the situation are harrowing and very upsetting.

When will Fifa get involved?

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