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Zahir Belounis plans new legal action

After returning to France, Zahir Belounis is to pursue his former club in Qatar through the Paris courts.

Belounis seeking payback

The French-Algerian midfielder, 33, spent almost two years stuck in Qatar following a legal dispute with his club, El-Jaish, over his salary. He was allowed to return to France last week when he was granted an exit visa after deciding not to pursue his claims against the club for unpaid wages.

However, by the end of this week, he is expected to file his case against officials of the Doha club, accusing them of blackmail.

During the time the French diplomatic service had struggled to convince the local authorities to allow him to leave the country, Belounis told he had sought solace in alcohol.

He said: "I became claustrophobic, I couldn't breathe. I spent my days alone, in my room in the dark. Alcohol was my only means, I didn't want to get into drugs. I had been courageous for two years, but it was too much."

Following the completion of the formalities concerning his case, Belounis could head to England, where several clubs have offered him the opportunity to train with them.


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