Pandas sent by China arrive in Qatar ahead of World Cup qualifiers
FIFA has informed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) that eight players from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil appear to have overstayed their visas, bringing the number of Chinese players working in Qatar at the time of the announcement, to ten.
AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa said in a statement: “We have been informed that some Chinese players have overstayed their visas in Qatar.
AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa
“We have informed Qatar of these changes, and we await the outcome.” Qatar FA President Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani said: “It is a matter for FIFA.
“We need to wait for the appropriate resolution. It is not for us to make any statement about the issue.”
“The teams from Brazil, however, which were included in the FIFA World Cup in Brazil will be able to compete without any such problem,” they added.
FIFA has since confirmed the presence of the eight Chinese players at the World Cup but with less detail than what was revealed on Tuesday (16 February).
In a statement a spokesperson for the governing body said it was making “a note of the relevant dates of the arrival of the players to Qatar”.
The date of the next AFC fixtures are also being adjusted from the original 23 April date to 29 April.
The other eight players to have overstayed their visas were Chinese-South American defender Nery Castilla and goalkeeper Maicon Carias.
The news comes days after Egypt-based star Mesut Ozil was stripped of the captaincy of one of the two main teams in World Cup qualifying, citing “unjustified national-team selection” after claiming he was not selected despite starting all group games.
The decision was condemned by the FIFA independent ethics committee but Ozil’s manager said he would not press charges and remain in his post.
South Korea and Morocco were excluded from the competition last month following FIFA’s ruling that Russia had fielded unauthorised coaching staff.
The full statement is below:
FIFA – 19 February 2014
In view of the public statements made by some national associations concerning the overstay of their players in