DOHA: The Qatar Football Association is to launch an independent court of arbitration for sport, according to vice-president Saud Al Mohannadi writes CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE.

Al Mohannadi has said that efforts to establish an internationally recognised sports judicial body in Qatar have been going on for the past three years.

Now, with the recent launch of a fully independent footballers union, Al Mohannadi confirmed that the body was close to being established.

He added: “In addition to various entities in and outside of Qatar, the Qatar National Olympic Committee has lent its support since the early stages of this project, this was demonstrated back in March when QFA and QNOC confirmed the partnership between the two bodies.”

The court will provide services to resolve legal disputes in the field of sport through arbitration and mediation in accordance to the rules and regulations of FIFA and other internationally recognised bodies.

The body may help players who may find themselves in a similar situation as French footballer Zahir Belounis, who claimed he was being kept a prisoner in the country after a pay dispute with former club El Jaish.

Belounis was not granted an exit visa by the club, required by law in Qatar to leave the country. However, 19 months after his initial dispute with his former employers, he was allowed to leave and returned to France.

At the time, the QFA maintained that it had tried to intervene but legal wranglings prevented them from providing an amicable solution.