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SBD Global/October 25, 2013/International Football

French Football Player Stuck In Qatar Says He Must Forfeit Pay To Leave

French football player Zahir Belounis, who said that he is trapped in Qatar, "may be heading home by next week," according to Robert Tuttle of BLOOMBERG. The 33-year-old midfielder, who first came to the country in '07 to play for the Doha-based Military Sports Association, said that "his team denied him an exit visa after he filed a case in local court in February this year for unpaid wages." This week, he said that "he was offered an exit visa if he signs a document that retroactively terminates him on Feb. 1." While Belounis said he has not decided if he will sign, he said that "agreeing to the terms will probably prevent him from collecting his final two years of salary under the five-year contract he signed with the Military Sports Association" in '10. Belounis: "I don't have choice. If I want my exit, I have to sign this retroactive termination contract." Qatar "has faced scrutiny over its treatment of foreign workers since winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup three years ago" (BLOOMBERG, 10/24).

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