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Youcef Belaïli causes controversy with comments on Qatar during Algeria-Iran friendly

Last week Algeria national team star Youcef Belaïli got himself into hot water with a casual joke as the Fennecs defeated Iran 2-1 in a friendly match played in Doha, Qatar. While on the substitutes bench the 30-year-old playmaker was asked by a journalist if he missed Qatar where he played his club football for two seasons as a member of Qatar Sports Club. Belaïli replied with a joke that drew plenty of laughs by stating that “Yes I miss it. But it is above all the money of the Qataris that I miss.”

While Belaïli drew laughs from his teammates when he made the response, the nation of Qatar was not amused at his attempt at humor. Journalists and football supporters from the country have made their displeasure known and Belaïli’s comments caused a storm of controversy in the Arabic-speaking world. Belaïli appears to be on the move after a successful six-month spell at French Ligue 1 club Brest with Nice, Lille and Toulouse all expressing interest.

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