El-Khatib (L) had been off to a great start with Hilal
As you may know Hilal Al-Quds beat second place Shabab Al-Khaleel to continue their perfect start to the league season. The Jerusalem based side have won their first six games, scoring 20 goals whilst only conceding once. So it was a little strange to read that Ali El-Khatib was being investigated for "manipulating the results of games".
What exactly has the club charged El-Khatib with?
According to the higher ups at Hilal Al-Quds, Ali El-Khatib had agreed to throw away the game against Shabab El-Khaleel. The club said that a fee had been agreed between El-Khatib and his former manager Samir Eissa. They point to the fact that Ali El-Khatib had refused to suit up for the crucial tie against the Hebron based side.
After the news broke, El-Khatib responded by saying that he was forced to miss the match because it happened to coincide with his wedding day. In an even more bizarre twist, the young midfielder claimed that Chairman Abdel-Qader El-Khatib (no relation) had sent henchmen to kidnap him and forced him to sign papers altering his financial compensation.
Needless to say, Shabab Al-Khaleel manager Samir Eissa isn't too happy about being accused of match fixing. He has asked the PFA to formulate an investigatory committee to look into the matter.
For their part, Hilal Al-Quds have formed their own investigatory committee and have reached the decision to suspend Ali El-Khatib for the remainder of the season.
Ali El-Khatib has three senior caps with the national team and came on as a substitute against Thailand in the first and second legs. He has shown a knack for providing a spark coming off the bench and seemed to be destined for a bright future with the National Team. It is a shame to see his reputation be tarnished in such an explicit manner especially with accusations that seem questionable at best.