Contradictory to earlier reports emanating from Kuwait, it has now been confirmed that Nottingham Forest have failed in their bid to be granted work permits for Bader Al-Mutawa, Khalid Al-Rashidi and Hussain Fadel.
The Kuwaiti trio have all spent time on trial at the City Ground over the past month following the Championship club’s takeover by the Al Hasawi family.
All three players impressed Forest boss Sean O’Driscoll enough for the club to explore the possibility of gaining work permits as they looked to sign them on a permament basis.
However, Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi confirmed via his official Twitter account that the FA had turned down the club’s request: “After a lengthy meeting with the Committee hearing the FA refuse to approve the granting of Kuwaiti players recommendation on a work permit.”
Al Hasawi went on to thank the players for their efforts and Kuwaiti top-flight side FC Qadsia for allowing Forest to take a closer look at their players.
Work-permit regulations in the United Kingdom require incoming players to represent one of the top 70 countries in FIFA rankings and the player must have played 75 per cent of their national team’s competitive games in the past two years.
Unfortunately Al-Mutawa, Al-Rashidi and Fadel did not fulfil these criteria due to Kuwait being ranked 96th by FIFA.
It’s a bitter blow for all three, especially Al-Mutawa, widely regarded as Kuwait’s best ever player, after it had been claimed that he was to be granted a permit.
However, the 27-year-old, hailed by Al Hasawi as the “second best player in Asia”, will now return to his homeland just weeks after speaking of his delight at linking up with Forest.
“It’s a great honour to be trialling at Nottingham Forest,” Al-Mutawa told the club’s official website.
“The club’s reputation for attractive football is well known in the Middle East, and it’s exciting to be coming here when a new manager is looking to play the kind of football that I want to be part of.”
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