Zahir Belounis will finally be allowed to leave Qatar. A few weeks ago we posted a story about the plight of the French soccer player, who wasn’t allowed to leave the tiny Gulf State following a dispute over pay with his club team. Qatar has a policy where “exit visas” are required to leave the country and Belounis was denied one for almost two years. It left Belounis near destitute and contemplating suicide.
Wednesday Belounis’ brother Mahdi tweeted out news that Zahir was given a visa and will arrive in Paris on Friday.
This is finally some positive news from Qatar, which has triggered all sorts of controversy since it won the right to host the 2022 World Cup back in 2009. The issues of human rights violators and modern-day slave labor used to construct the billion dollars worth of stadiums and infrastructure in the the country remain unresolved. Expect the scrutiny from Western journalists — those not handed out free trips, anyway — to increase as we slowly inch closer to 2022.
Related: ESPNFC’s Phil Ball Accepted Free Trip to Qatar, Wrote Puff Piece, Irritated American Journalists
Related: Qatar’s World Cup Stadiums Resemble Part of the Female Anatomy, and Are Being Built by Modern-Day Slaves