The impact of the Qatar blockade was forcibly felt in Middle East football this weekend as Dubai’s Al Wasl angrily stated they “reject dealing with any (Qatari) club, institution or sports body” after reports stated star forward Fabio De Lima could be sold to Doha’s Al Rayyan.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and the Maldives all severed relations with the nation last month because of its alleged support for terrorism. This has forced strain on relations between the nations, at all levels.
As such, reports in midweek about a €10 million (Dh42.1m) move for the 24-year-old winner of Best Foreign Player at the 2016/17 Arabian Gulf League Awards forced a stinging rebuttal from the Cheetahs management.
“Al Wasl has always been a symbol of patriotism throughout its history,” a club statement read about De Lima, who has scored 61 times in 76 run-outs since his 2014 arrival from Atletico Goianiense.
“It is committed to everything our wise leadership does and stands behind it. Al Wasl never fails its duties to the homeland and our leadership, against a state that has tried to undermine the stability of our country and our security.
“It is our responsibility to categorically reject dealing with any club, institution or sports body in Qatar in any way.”
AGL champions Al Jazira have agreed deals for El Jaish pair Sardor Rashidov and Romarinho, but both are free agents after the Doha side merged with Lekhwiya.