AFC dismisses UAE's ineligibility appeal over Qatar players

UAE argued that Qatar has fielded two ineligible players in the Asian Cup, but the AFC has dismissed its appeal.

Qatar striker Almoez Ali in action   -  Getty Images

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has dismissed an appeal lodged by United Arab Emirates over the eligibility of two Qatar players that have featured in the Asian Cup.

Qatar, World Cup host in 2022, ran out 4-0 winner over the tournament hosts on Tuesday to book its spot in Friday's final against Japan.

READ| Qatar pelted with shoes as it stomps UAE to reach Asian Cup final

However, UAE filed a complaint after alleging Almoez Ali, the Asian Cup's top scorer who netted in the semifinal win, and Bassam Al-Rawi, who did not play against UAE due to a ban, did not meet FIFA's requirements to represent Qatar.

If found guilty, Qatar could have been facing expulsion from the competition, but the AFC released a statement saying the appeal had been rejected, meaning it will face Japan.

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"The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Disciplinary and Ethics Committee on Friday dismissed the protest lodged by the United Arab Emirates Football Association over the eligibility of two Qatar players," the statement read.

READ| Asian Cup 2019: UAE protests Qatari players' eligibility

Qatar coach Felix Sanchez was asked about the appeal at a pre-match news conference on Thursday.

"We are only focused on the game we're going to play tomorrow, any other things not related to football is not in our minds at the moment," he said. 

"I'm not concerned at all. My players need no more motivation than to play an Asian Cup final."