The Qatari National football team could face disciplinary action from FIFA after its players warmed up for a World Cup qualifier against South Korea wearing t-shirts showing support for the country’s Emir , Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
The show of support for Emir came after several Gulf nations and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and imposed economic sanctions on Doha for allegedly supporting “extremism”, a charge which the oil rich Country has denied.
Midfielder Hasan Al-Haydos also waved the t-shirt in celebration after he put the Qataris 1-0 ahead from a free-kick in the 25th minute.
T-shirts with a profile portrait of the Emir have become a widely used symbol of defiance by Qataris in response to the diplomatic crisis.
The world football governing body, FIFA bans any unsanctioned political, religious or commercial messages on shirts.
Speaking after the 3-2 victory, Qatar’s coach, Uruguayan Jorge Fossati defended his players and then condemned the “ridiculous situation” of the “blockade” “I don’t see something that can receive a punishment as it is a t-shirt with a picture of the Emir,” he said. “It doesn’t say anything against anybody.
“I can’t agree with the blockade that is against the people, against the families, many families are damaged, they really don’t deserve this.”