Stranded soccer player to sue former Qatari clubs

The Associated Press
French Algerian football player Zahir Belounis arrives from Qatar at Roissy Charles De Gaulle airport, north of Paris, France, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. Belounis said he was stranded in Qatar with his wife and their two daughters. He was refused the exit visa he needed to leave because of a legal dispute over unpaid wages with Qatari side Al-Jaish, where he was under contract until 2015. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Stranded soccer player to sue former Qatari clubs

French Algerian football player Zahir Belounis arrives from Qatar at Roissy Charles De Gaulle airport, north of Paris, France, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013. Belounis said he was stranded in Qatar with his wife and their two daughters. He was refused the exit visa he needed to leave because of a legal dispute over unpaid wages with Qatari side Al-Jaish, where he was under contract until 2015. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

PARIS (AP) -- A soccer player who had been stranded for months in Qatar plans to sue his two former clubs for fraud, extortion of money and inhumane working conditions.

Zahir Belounis is a French-Algerian whose case has helped bring to international notice the labor laws in Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host. Under Qatar's kafala sponsorship system, workers need permission from their employers to leave the country.

Belounis returned to France last week after he was denied an exit visa for months because of a legal dispute over unpaid wages.

He and his lawyer said at a news conference Tuesday they intend to file lawsuits against the Military Sport Association President Gamaan Al-Hamad and Al-Jaish President Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al-Thani.

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