The UAE FA had submitted a formal complaint that neither Bassam Al-Rawi nor Almoez Ali were eligible to play for Qatar, but the AFC has overruled their protest.
The UAE FA had registered a formal complaint with AFC that Qatar’s 21 year old defender Bassam Al-Rawi and star striker Almoez Ali, 22, were both ineligible to represent the country.
They had alleged that Al-Rawi is an Iraq born player while Almoez Ali was born in Sudan, and that neither player could play for Qatar since they hadn’t lived there continuously for five years to legally qualify them.
— AFC (@theafcdotcom) February 1, 2019
However, the governing body has officially ruled against the protest and will not take action against Qatar, which faces Japan in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 finals later today.
This spells good news for Qatar as Al-Rawi has been a star in defence for them, helping the team progress to the finals without conceding even a single goal in the 6 games so far. On top of that, he also scored his team’s solitary goal in the round of 16 win against Iraq with a sumptuous free kick.
Almoez Ali has, arguably, been the best player in the tournament, scoring 8 goals in 6 games and drawing level with Ali Daei’s AFC Asian Cup record.