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Belounis granted Qatar exit visa
Nov 27, 2013 8:55 PM EST
Zahir Belounis, the French-Algerian footballer trapped in Qatar for two years, has received a visa to exit the country.
Belounis has been stranded in Qatar due to a dispute with his club, Al-Jaish, over unpaid wages, as the kafala legal system prevents employees from leaving the nation unless their employer consents.
FifPro, the world players' union, revealed on Tuesday that delegates were being sent to Qatar on Thursday, with one of their objectives for the four-day trip being to bring the saga to an end.
And Belounis has now received the news he was hoping for, with FifPro confirming an exit visa has been granted.
A statement on FifPro's official website read: “FifPro is delighted to hear Zahir Belounis' ordeal will soon be over.
"Having finally received his exit visa on Wednesday (November 27), the French-Algerian footballer is now free to leave Qatar.
"Zahir Belounis is scheduled to leave Doha for Paris on Thursday (November 28).
"As the worldwide representative for professional footballers, FIFPro will be able to welcome back a long-lost family member.
"The World Footballers' Association would also like to express its gratitude to all who joined together with FIFPro to ensure a successful outcome.
"FIFPro heads to Qatar on Thursday to start a four-day visit to engage local authorities in a bid to help prevent future misery for those who find themselves powerless under the working conditions of Qatar's kafala sponsorship system."