Reigning Asian Player of the Year Abdelkarim Hassan slapped with five-month ban

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Abdelkarim Hassan has been slapped with a hefty five-month ban from all Asian Football Confederation club competition after misconduct in Al Sadd’s 4-1 loss to Al Hilal.

The left-back, who won AFC Asian Cup 2019 with Qatar earlier this year, was sent off in the 35th minute of his team’s AFC Champions League 2019 semi-final first-leg tie against the Saudi Arabian opposition, with the scoreline level at 1-1.

The numerical deficit ultimately proved costly as Al Sadd went on to lose the game 4-1, leaving them with a mountain to climb in Tuesday’s return encounter at the King Saud University Stadium.

To make matters worse, Abdelkarim has now been issued a five-month ban for “an act of violent conduct against a match official” after aggressively remonstrating with referee Ahmed Al-Kaf.

With the suspension commencing on October 21, the 26-year-old – the current Asian Footballer of the Year – will not be able to feature in AFC club competitions until March 2020, which means he will miss half of next season’s ACL group stage with Al Sadd having already qualified.