After a lengthy meeting Wednesday night, the English Football Association declined to issue work permits for Kuwaiti footballers, Bader al-Mutawa, Hussain Fadhel of Qadsiya SC, and Khalid al-Rashidi of Al Arabi SC, to be able to join Nottingham Forest FC, reported online sports news site Kooora.
Despite Mutawa being one of the top scorers from his club and his country, for 10 years, in addition to being awarded as the 2nd best Asian player in 2006, the credentials weren’t enough to satisfy the stringent work permit conditions requested by the association.
The players underwent a month-long training period in Nottingham and were successful in trial matches, with Mutawa scoring twice, and al-Rashidi participating in more than one match, setting up his team with many scoring opportunities. Meanwhile, Fadhel sustained injuries in one of the matches.
For his part, Kuwaiti businessman and owner of Nottingham Forest Fawaz al-Hasawi took to social networking site Twitter to make the announcement. “After a lengthy meeting, the committee refused to reach a unanimous decision in issuing the three players work permits and I thank Qadsia SC and the Al Arabi SC for their cooperation and providing them the opportunity to try out for Nottingham Forest, as well as the players themselves.”
The management of Qadsia SC accused al-Hasawi of attempting to harm the interests of the club by trying to attract several of its players to play for Nottingham Forest like striker Mutawa.
All three players are set to return to their Kuwaiti clubs, within the coming days in preparation for the Kuwait Super Cup match between the rivaling clubs, scheduled for September 3.
Mutawa expressed his regret over the committee’s decision not to recruit the players but he said he was happy with the experience and appreciative of both Nottingham Forest and Qadsia SC for allowing him the opportunity, and expressed his gratitude on his Twitter account, saying “Thanks to God for everything and thanks to everyone who participated and facilitated in the process of joining the English league.”
Hasawi purchased Nottingham Forest in July and was formerly chairman of Qadsia SC, Kuwait’s most popular club.