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FIFA fines Qatar for using football to serve politics

Published: Updated:

FIFA imposed a fine on Qatar's football federation after national team players breached rules against political statements at a World Cup qualifier.

FIFA says its disciplinary panel imposed a 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,800) fine and reprimanded Qatar. It added that the charges related to "displaying a political image" and "political displays" by spectators.

The incident happened in Doha on June 13, when Qatar's players warmed up for a 3-2 win over South Korea.

Using Qatari players to gain advantage and international sympathy to cover its diplomatic crisis is a flagrant example of how Doha’s aim has been to exploit sports to serve its political, rather than cultural, interests.

It has already made use of former Barcelona and Spain captain Xavi Hernandez in a video where he called for an end to the Gulf and Arab “blockade” of Qatar.