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Blatter urged to help unpaid player stuck in Qatar

Wednesday - 11/13/2013, 12:53pm  ET

FIFA President Sepp Blatter listens at a press conference with Sheik Mohammed bin Hamad al-Thani, chairman of Qatar 2022 bid committee, in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. Blatter said he is confident of resolving all issues with the 2022 World Cup in Qatar that has come under criticism by rights groups over conditions for workers building the venues. (AP Photo/Osama Faisal)

HOOFDDORP, Netherlands (AP) -- FIFA President Sepp Blatter has been urged to help resolve a contractual dispute in Qatar involving a player who says he hadn't been paid by his club in two years.

Zahir Belounis, who plays for Qatari side Al-Jaish, has been denied the chance to leave the country because he is suing the club to recover his salary.

FIFPro, the international union for soccer players, says Al-Jaish stopped paying Belounis after it exceeded its quota of foreign players.

The case has highlighted the "kafala" employment system in Qatar, which stops workers from leaving without written permission from employers. Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup.

FIFPro says secretary general Theo van Seggelen wrote asking for Blatter's "urgent intervention" with Qatari officials on behalf of Belounis.


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