Barcelona legend Xavi fined $2,700 by Qatar FA for COVID-19 rules breaches

Qatar’s Football Association fined former Barcelona and Spain midfielder star Xavi Hernandez and several other top-flight players and staff 2,700 U.S. dollars each for breaching coronavirus rules, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Xavi, head coach of Qatari side Al-Sadd whose contract had been renewed on July 5, revealed that he had contracted the virus but was asymptomatic right before the Qatari league’s resumption at the end of July. Days later, he said he had returned home and to work.

The penalty, which included an official warning from the league, was because of “non-compliance with the Ministry of Public Health’s safety protocols including breaching a home quarantine pledge signed by him,” the statement said.

Head coach Xavi Hernandez of Al-Sadd during a training session in Doha, Qatar, December 13, 2019. /VCG

Al-Sadd players Hammam al-Amin and Abdul Karim Hassan also faced fines of 10,000 riyals (2,700 U.S. dollars) and warnings from the QFA’s disciplinary committee, as did players and staff from several other Qatari teams. 

The Qatar Stars League resumed competition on July 24 with strict social distancing rules, routine testing of players and staff and a blanket ban on media attendance. 

Matches were halted in March to stem the spread of COVID-19. 

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