February 1 – Game on, all players available. The protest lodged the by United Arab Emirates FA concerning the eligibility of Qataris players Almoez Ali and Bassam Al Rawi has been unanimously dismissed by the AFC disciplinary committee, just four hours before the final between Qatar and the UAE is due to take place.
Both players will be eligible for selection and will likely start. Al Rawi missed the semi-final.
The UAE lodged their protest within two hours of losing the semi-final 4-0 as a bad tempered home crowd threw bottles and sandals on to the pitch.
The UAE claimed that Almoez, a 22-year-old striker born in Sudan, Al Rawi, a 21-year-old defender born in Baghdad, have not spent the previous five years in the country over the age of 18 to qualify for residency. Al Rawi’s father had been an Iraqi international.
Almoez has been the breakout forward of the tournament and scored the second Qatari goal in the win over the UAE. He is top scorer in the Asian Cup with eight goals equalling Ali Daei’s 23-year-old AFC Asian Cup record
Ali and Al Rawi both claim their mothers were born in Qatar, but the UAE FA claims it has documents proving Al Rawi’s mother was born in Baghdad.
They submitted their evidence to the AFC Disciplinary Committee as did Qatar.
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