The Kuwaiti players on trial at Nottingham Forest have all been denied a work permit by the FA, despite rumours that striker Bader Al-Mutawa had been granted one.
Owner Fawaz Al Hasawi tweeted in Arabic, courtesy of Google Translate: “After a lengthy meeting with the Committee hearing, the FA refuse to approve the granting of Kuwaiti players recommendation on a work permit.
Goalkeeper Khalid Al-Rashidi and centre-back Hussain Fadel had also been on trial at the club since the Al Hasawi family took over last month.
Al-Mutawa was expected by many to receive a work permit after scoring 39 goals in 118 appearances for Kuwait and being nominated for the Asia Player of the Year award in 2006 and 2010.
The Qadsia SC player told the club’s website last month: “It’s a great honour to be trialling at Nottingham Forest.
“The club’s reputation for attractive football is well known in the Middle East, and it’s exciting to be coming here when a new manager is looking to play the kind of football that I want to be part of.
“I realise that the English Championship has a tough standard of play, but I’m confident that my goal-scoring and team-working skills will transfer, and that I can play a major part in Mr O’Driscoll’s plans going forwards.”
The FA criteria for players states:
1. A player must have played for his country in at least 75% of its competitive “A” team matches he was available for selection, during the 2 years preceding the date of the application;
2. The player’s country must be at or above 70th place in the official FIFA World Rankings when averaged over the 2 years preceding the date of the application; and
3. The application for a GBE (Governing Body Endorsement) must be made by a club in membership of the Premier League or Football League and the player will only play for clubs in membership of those leagues.
Crucially, Kuwait have not made FIFA’s top 70 since 2004.
While this stage of the appeal failed, the club will look to reapply in four months’ time. The FA’s appeal process requires the club to prove ‘the player concerned is believed to be of the highest calibre and able to make a significant contribution to the development of the game at the top level in England’.