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Saudi Bars Moroccan Footballer Hamdallah From Leaving After Clash

Morocco’s Abderrazak Hamdallah is in hot waters with Saudi authorities following a verbal clash with a security employee at Riyadh’s King Khalid Airport.

Rabat – Abderrazak Hamdallah, the prolific Moroccan striker playing for Saudi football club Al Nasr, is in legal trouble with Saudi authorities. Following an altercation with the chief of the security staff at King Khalid Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has banned the Moroccan from leaving the Gulf country.

According to Saudi sources, Hamdallah “verbally attacked” the security officer, leading the officer to file a complaint against the Moroccan player.

The incident took place around 3 a.m. on Thursday, according to reports.

Hamdallah reportedly lashed out at the security officer, described as “a woman who holds the rank of sergeant.” Hamdallah was protesting against the use of full body scanning on his pregnant wife. The Moroccan player is said to have claimed that the “automatic inspection” was detrimental to the health of his wife and unborn child, a local newspaper reported.

The Saudi security officer said in “her statements that the Moroccan player used offensive words, exceeded respect, and tried to enter the inspection area for women,” according to the same newspaper.

Hamdallah denied the complainant’s version of the events. He, however, maintained his opposition to the use of the body scanning inspection for his pregnant wife.

“After taking statements from both parties,” the Saudi newspaper detailed, the public inspector determined that the Moroccan may have crossed boundaries in his clash with the employee.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the Moroccan player’s Saudi club has been in touch with the airport employee in an attempt to persuade her to drop the case.

The news comes as Morocco’s Atlas Lions prepare for a series of CAN 2021 qualifier games. Hamdallah, who has not been on good terms with Morocco’s footballing authorities, is notably absent from the list of players who have been called to represent the Moroccan squad.

The player, who was due to join the Atlas Lions for this year’s CAN, walked out from the squad at the last minute. While early reports said he left because of a last-minute injury, the player would later fume at internal divisions in the Moroccan squad, describing what he saw as a toxic environment for players with no established friendships in the group.