‘Misunderstanding’ led to Sheikh snub of refs


Qatar have released a statement to say that a misunderstanding led to Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani not bumping fists with female officials at the Club World Cup.

Bayern Munich beat Tigres 1-0 in the final and after the game officials were presented with medals for their participation.

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A video subsequently went viral which appeared to show the Sheikh fist bumping with a male official but not the female ones.

“During the awards ceremony at the final game of the FIFA Club World Cup 2020, there was a minor misunderstanding as medals were handed to the match officials,” the statement said.

“To limit the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus, there were strict protocols in place and everyone involved in the tournament was strongly advised to avoid physical contact.

“In this instance, the misunderstanding arose from the perception that three of the match officials did not want to conduct the customary ‘fist bump’ with His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, which was of course their right.

“When seen in its entirety, it is clear from the footage that this was a simple misunderstanding and there was no intention to offend. The decision to engage in any form of physical contact remains a personal preference for all players, coaches and referees, and is respected by all involved in the organising committee for this tournament and next year’s FIFA World Cup.”

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