The Court of Arbitration for Sport, CAS, has set March 12 as date for a hearing following an appeal by the UAE against Qatar for fielding two ineligible players during the Asian Cup, the tiny Gulf country won last year.
The ruling will take several weeks following the hearing. If the court ruled against Qatar, it will lose its title.
UAE last year lodged a complaint against its regional neighbor with the Asian Football Confederation after a 4-0 loss to Qatar in the semi-finals match in Abu Dhabi during the Asian Cup in January.
UAE complained that Qatar’s striker Almoez Ali and defender Bassam Al-Rawi were not born there and did not meet FIFA nationality requirements to represent the country.
FIFA, the world Football governing body, recommends that to acquire a different nationality must have “continuously for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association.”
Both players were not born in Qatar and have not lived in the Gulf country at least five years prior to the tournament. Ali was 23 and al-Rawi 22.
Both players also claimed that their mothers were born in Qatar – which provides them in the eyes of FIFA the opportunity to receive Qatari citizenship.
The Asian football confederation cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing but UAE appealed the ruling and turned to CAS to settle the case.
Ali rose to stardom during the tournament scoring nine goals in total including one goal in the 3-1 win over Japan in the final.