Marcus Campbell (214-C-82, agency: Three Eye Sports, college: Mississippi St.), a veteran of many professional leagues over a career spanning eight seasons, is de facto being held hostage in Qatar, after his Club refused yesterday to authorize the American players exit from the Country.
Bags packed, ready to board an airplane to play in a new country, Campbell was told he cannot leave the country. Marcus Campbell, who signed a partially guaranteed contract with Al Rayyan Doha Club in mid-September, and arrived in Doha, Qatar on September 25, never played one official game for the Club after being informed that the teams conceptthe allocation or quotas between African and foreign playershad changed according to constantly changing league and Federation rules. The Player, who signed on for a $10,000 monthly salary, but was paid only $1430 for his fifty days of pre-season work in Doha, accepted the rule change and agreed to leave the team. However, he and his agent, Bill McCandless, citing the Playing Contract, asked the Club to honor the terms of a contract which stated that, if the team released him, they would pay Campbell for the time he was with the team (roughly $17,000) plus a $25,000 severance penalty (and an additional $ 8.500 in agent fees).
After negotiating with the Club and its many managers, translators, and coaches for days on end, the Club finally offered the Player a $20,000 settlement. Armed with a clear contract saying that the Club owed more than twice this amount, Campbell rejected the offer. After more days of back and forth, Campbells agent sent Al Rayyan Doha an ultimatum: settle for more than the $20,000 offered, or face FIBA Arbitration. The Club declined to offer more and a search was underway for a new job for the seven foot center.
During that time Marcus Campbell was unceasingly pressured by the Club and even by people working within the Qatar Basketball Federation to accept the $20,000 offer. They told me, Campbell said from Doha in an interview on Friday, forget about your agent, sign this release and well pay you $20,000, and well give you a ticket back to the United States. Campbell went on, at first, I thought, well the offer is better than nothing, but then I started to think, Ive been here for almost two months, and this team agreed that Id be paid a $25,000 severance fee if they released me, Ill pass on the low ball offer and take them to FIBA arbitration. Campbells agent, adds: I had dealt with this Club before and they had shorted another player of mine, so before I agreed to put Marcus on the plane to Qatar, I insisted that there be a set penalty if they cut the player or terminated the contract. McCandless adds, a couple of years ago, a center of ours was cut, not for skill, but because the team had not registered with the Federation on time. It seemed to me that I should protect Marcus if the same thing were to happen again.
On Tuesday, Marcus Campbell landed a job in Cyprus with Apollon Limassol, and on that very date, Campbells coach in Qatar, American Brian Rowsom, told the Player he had to vacate the apartment in two days. By then, Campbell says, I had decided to take the job in Cyprus and reject the Qatari teams low ball settlement offer. McCandless adds, Years ago, players in Marcus situation would have had to bring a lawsuit in Qatar, but today is a different day: FIBA Arbitration provides a fair and relatively inexpensive way for Players and Clubs to resolve disputes. McCandless goes on: Marcus didnt like the teams offer, he was put off by the teams pressure tactics, so we decided that we would officially notify the Club that they were in material breach, and then leave to take a new job. Still, getting Rowsons eviction notice sent chills down the big centers spine. I came here, Campbell says, to play basketball. I get cut basically because of some registration mistake, nothing to do with skill, the team kicks me to the curb, gives me next to no money to eat, then tells the Coach to tell me get out in two days. McCandless chimes in: face it, they were mad we didnt fold and take their offer, and so they decided to send Marcus an eviction notice.
Waking today in Doha, Campbell never could have imagined what was to follow. My new Club from Cyprus had gotten me a 7 am flight, so I woke early, taxied to the airport, anxious to see a new country and actually play basketball again! The American Center checked in at the Gulf Air ticket counter, got his ticket, and ambled to passport control. There, he presented his passport and ticket. And the wheels came off. where is your visa exit document? said the woman in the booth. Campbell said he had none, and was turned away.
Thousands of miles away, agent McCandless cell phone rung. I saw it was Marcus calling, said McCandless, so I picked it up, figuring he would tell me he was on the plane. Not so. Campbell sounded discouraged: they wont let me leave. He then explained why. McCandless urged Marcus to not give up. I told him, go to the Qatar Basketball Federation, tell them your problem, and perhaps theyll get you an exit visa, and you can fly on Friday to Cyprus. McCandless goes on: I mean, the player plays for a team for 50 days, makes next to nothing, gets evicted, and tries to take a plane to a new job in a new country and he cant get out?
Turned away, feeling like he had lost a second job, Campbell decide to make some calls and get some answers. First, he called the teams translator, who seemed to know nothing. He called other team managers and the Coach, but no one seemed willing to help.
Marcus Campbell then goes to the Qatari Basketball Federation to see if they can issue him the exit visa to leave the country.
At the Federation office, nobody seems to be willing to help. On the contrary, there too insinuations are made that Campbell should have accepted the settlement offer made by the club. Things got really bizarre when the assistant secretary general of the Qatar Basketball Federation, Mr. Mohammad Ali Hobash, turns out to be the President of Al Rayyan! The club that had terminated the agreement with Campbell, thrown him out of his apartment, and now prevented him from leaving the country!
Marcus Campbell was fired on the 25th of October. He has no money, no place to stay and cant leave the country. He is basically held hostage. His former club and the Qatari Basketball federation will only let him leave the country if he signs a document that he will NOT take the case to FIBA arbitration and waives all his rights and claims.
Marcus Campbell has turned to the US Consulate, meaning that this story could now become international. In the meantime, the FIBA has also gotten involved and has asked the Qatar Basketball Federation to immediately issue an exit visa to Campbell. Whatever happens, one thing seems clear; there will be a legal follow-up.
Qatar's men win 2016 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships - 19 days ago
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Qatar won the men's event of the 2016 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships after beating Brazil in the final (20-12) in Astana, Kazakhstan on 5 June. After dropping their first game of the tournament against Italy (16-19), Qatar went on to win their next six games, including the upset of reigning champions New Zealand in the semi-finals (21-16). The number one 3x3 player in the world (U18 men) Nedim Muslic and big man Seydou Ndoye shined in the final (6pts each). Alen Hadzibegovic and Faris S... [read more]
Qatar won the men's event of the 2016 FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships after beating Brazil in the final (20-12) in Astana, Kazakhstan on 5 June. After dropping their first game of the tournament against Italy (16-19), Qatar went on to win their next six games, including the upset of reigning champions New Zealand in the semi-finals (21-16). The number one 3x3 player in the world (U18 men) Nedim Muslic and big man Seydou Ndoye shined in the final (6pts each). Alen Hadzibegovic and Faris Sedikovic both contributed 4pts as well. This means Qatar now stand as reigning 3x3 world champions in both U18 and senior categories, following their success at the 2014 FIBA 3x3 World Championships. Brazil struck silver after beating Slovenia in the quarter-finals (19-13) and Italy in a thriller in the semi-finals (21-20). Italy recovered from the devastating loss to secure the bronze medal against New Zealand (21-14). Courtesy of: fiba.com
Al Ahli triumph at Arabian Gulf Basketball Clubs Championship 2016 - 1 month ago
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Al Ahli triumphed at Arabian Gulf Basketball Clubs Championship 2016. In the Final game they overcame Al Rayyan 81:77. The team from UAE grabbed an early 27-19 lead and led 48:42 at the halftime. The Qatari squad managed to tie the game at the end of the third period when they produced a 17-11 rally. Only due to 22-18 in the last stanza, Al Ahli celebrated the win. [read more]
Al Ahli triumphed at Arabian Gulf Basketball Clubs Championship 2016. In the Final game they overcame Al Rayyan 81:77. The team from UAE grabbed an early 27-19 lead and led 48:42 at the halftime. The Qatari squad managed to tie the game at the end of the third period when they produced a 17-11 rally. Only due to 22-18 in the last stanza, Al Ahli celebrated the win.
Manama's hopes of winning the 36th GCC Basketball Clubs Championship title were shattered last night when they lost to Qatar's Al Rayyan 97-85 in the semi-final played at Al Ahli Club in Dubai. The quarters scores were 22-23, 24-23, 19-25, 32-14. Manama's best scorers were Austin Daye (211-F-88, college: Gonzaga, agency: Priority Sports) (23 points), Hussain Mohammed (PG) (18), Kadeem Coleby (206-C/F-89, college: Wichita St.) (15), Ahmed Abdulaziz (10) and Maytham Jameel (10). In the fina... [read more]
Manama's hopes of winning the 36th GCC Basketball Clubs Championship title were shattered last night when they lost to Qatar's Al Rayyan 97-85 in the semi-final played at Al Ahli Club in Dubai. The quarters scores were 22-23, 24-23, 19-25, 32-14. Manama's best scorers were Austin Daye (211-F-88, college: Gonzaga, agency: Priority Sports) (23 points), Hussain Mohammed (PG) (18), Kadeem Coleby (206-C/F-89, college: Wichita St.) (15), Ahmed Abdulaziz (10) and Maytham Jameel (10). In the final Al Rayyan will face hosts and defending champions Al Ahli of UAE who defeated Qatar's Al Sadd 95-70 in the other semi-final. It was an shock result for the Manama team and over 300 fans who flew to Dubai to support their team. Manama showed excellent team work until the third quarter where they led by 14 points. However, Al Rayyan proved to be the better team by scoring a total of 17 three pointers in the game, with Dominic James (180-PG-86, college: Marquette) and Hassan Mohamed (190-G-91) of Al Rayyan scoring 60 points out of 97. Manama will be playing today against Al Sadd for the third and fourth positions at 3pm, Bahrain time, while Al Rayyan and Al Ahli will battle for the championship title in the final to be played at 5pm. Manama ended third in the previous championship in Kuwait after defeating Al Sadd. Courtesy of: gdnonline.com
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