Exclusive: ‘Freed’ Belounis returns home but Qataris refuse to settle his wages

zahir belounis 2

By Andrew Warshaw, chief correspondent
November 28 – Zahir Belounis, the French-Algerian footballer finally granted his exit visa from Qatar, would not have been allowed to leave without huge international pressure on the Qatari authorities, according to his brother. But, claims Mahdi Belounis, hundreds of thousands of Euros owed to Zahir – who had claimed 18 months of unpaid wages – remained unpaid right up until his departure from the Gulf state today.

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FIFPro sends delegation to Qatar for urgent talks on player rights and Belounis


By Paul Nicholson
November 26 – International players union FIFPro is sending a delegation to Qatar on a four-day visit (November 28-31) to hold urgent talks with the country’s football authorities and organisers of the Qatar 2022 World Cup regarding the rights of players and in particular the plight of French footballer Zahar Belounis who has been trapped in the country by the kafala work visa system.

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Exclusive: New hope that Belounis could receive Qatar exit visa in days

Zahir Belounis2

By Andrew Warshaw
November 25 – Zahir Belounis, the journeyman footballer trapped in Qatar claiming 18 months of unpaid wages, may be on the verge of winning his battle to get out of the country. The plight of the French-Algerian, who says he is a ‘destroyed’ man after being forced to sell all his possessions, has caused outrage among human rights organisations and has added to global concern over Qatar’s notorious kafala employment system that ties migrant workers to so-called ‘sponsors’.

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ITUC calls for workers’ safety to be prioritised for Qatar 2022 build

construction in Qatar

By Andrew Warshaw
September 26 – The International Trade Union Confederation, which claims to represent 175 million workers worldwide, says the safety of those involved in building Qatar’s infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup is “vastly more serious” than the global emphasis on whether to stage the tournament in summer or winter. Concerns for the welfare of players and spectators have led to FIFA considering moving 2022 from the heat of the Gulf summer,

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