Controversial Al Hilal striker Nasser Al-Shamrani will have his case heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Kuala Lumpur this coming Thursday as he appeals the eight-match ban handed to him by the AFC for his conduct at the conclusion of the 2014 AFC Champions League Final.
Al-Shamrani, 31, was involved in an ugly confrontation with a handful of Western Sydney Wanderers players after he spat at defender Matthew Spiranovic, who was celebrating the Wanderers’ historic triumph at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh.
Al-Shamrani was cited by the AFC Disciplinary Committee for breaching article 57 of the AFC Disciplinary Code relating to offensive behaviour and fair play, and was subsequently handed an eight-match AFC Champions League ban.
The Saudi launched an appeal with the AFC Appeal Committee, which was ultimately rejected, prompting a further appeal to the CAS.
The AFC announced last month that the CAS had ordered a “stay” in proceedings against Al-Shamrani until such time as his case was heard. This allowed the striker to take part in Al Hilal’s most recent ACL encounter – a 2-0 win over Iranian side Foolad in which he scored to become the outright leading scorer in ACL history with 26 goals.
A source has confirmed to Football Channel Asia that Al-Shamrani’s hearing will take place on Thursday 16 April in the Malaysian capital, with the CAS to hand down their final decision by Monday 20 April – just one day before Al Hilal’s next ACL match against Lokomotiv Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
His importance to his side was underlined last week when he opened the scoring against Foolad. With Al-Shamrani in their side Al Hilal scored 12 goals in the group stage – five of which came from Al-Shamrani himself – last year as they stormed their way to the final, scoring 21 goals in the process.
Al Hilal scored just three goals in the first three games of this campaign without Al-Shamrani, all coming in their opening game against Lokomotiv Tashkent. They were held scoreless in clashes against Al Sadd and Foolad.