Asian player of the year banned 5 months for player foul

The reigning Asian player of the year has been banned for the past five months for playing against a referee in the Asian Champions League semi-finals.

Abdelkarim Hassan was banned by the Asian Football Confederation. The left-back of Qatari champion Al Sadd, a member of all club competitions until 20 March, has been sanctioned only by three matches in total.

FIFA said Hassan could qualify for the Qatar Club World Cup in December. include Al Sadd.

Hassan reacted aggressively and took revenge with the match official after receiving a yellow card for a foul at the 35e minute of the 4-1 defeat in Al Saal's first leg against Saudi club Al Hilal. In Doha, the 1er October. The protracted protest earned him a red card.

The AFC claims that the defender "was sent off by the referee for a violent act of conduct against a match official."

The five-month ban removed Hassan from this year's Asian Champions League - in which they were eliminated - and three group matches in the 2020 edition. Al Sadd, led by former Xavi midfielder in Barcelona and Spain, had already qualified for the Champions League as a Qatar League champion, which also earned them a place in the World Cup Clubs as the winner of the national title of the host country.

Hassan won the AFC 2018 award as the best player based in Asia. He helped Qatar win the 2019 Asian Cup in February and played Copa America in Brazil in 2019.

John Duerden, Associated Press and ESPN FC correspondent, contributed to this report.

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