The Jordanian national soccer team is in turmoil ahead of their return match against South Korea.
The team is missing two players due to accumulated suspensions, and the atmosphere has been tense.
Jordanian media outlet Amman News reported on Wednesday that Hamza Al Dardour has been suspended for three matches and fined $5,000 (approximately $669) by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for his behavior during the round of 16 match at the 2023 AFC Qatar Asian Cup.
“The Jordanian national team announced that Al Dardour is leaving the team due to his disruption of internal order, and he has returned to Oman, where he is based,” the outlet explained.
Jordan is scheduled to face the South Korean national soccer team in the semifinals of the tournament at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar, on July 7 at 0:00.
Jordan advanced to the semifinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2023 Qatar Asian Cup with a 1-0 win over Tajikistan at the same venue on Sunday, thanks to an own goal from defender Vahdat Hannounov.
This is Jordan’s fourth appearance at the tournament, their best ever. It is the best result in the history of the tournament, surpassing their first appearance in China in 2004 and the quarterfinals in Qatar in 2011.
Earlier, Jordan pulled off a dramatic 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Iraq in the Round of 16 on Sept. 29. Jordan opened the scoring in the 46th minute of first-half stoppage time through Yazan Al-Naimat, but conceded consecutive goals to Saad Natik and Aymen Hussein in the 23rd and 31st minutes of the second half.
But when Hussein was sent off for a second bookable offense for prolonging his post-goal celebration, Jordan gained a numerical advantage.
Jordan eventually pulled off a dramatic comeback in stoppage time with back-to-back goals from Yazan Al Arab and Nizar Al Rashidan. In the process, Al Dardour, who was on the bench, was directly sent off for protesting the referee.
Shortly after the game, the Jordanian Football Association announced that Al Dardour had been suspended. “We are excluding him because he did not follow the internal controls and instructions of the team,” the federation said.
Al Dardour was mostly a bench player at the tournament, but he is a 13-year veteran of the national team, having made his A-match debut in January 2011 at the age of 19. He has scored 35 goals in 125 A-match appearances. He is the all-time leading goal scorer for the Jordan A team.
Al Dardour also represented Jordan at the 2015 World Cup in Australia. He scored four goals and provided one assist in the team’s 5-1 group stage win over Palestine. He did not participate in the 2019 tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
Al Dardour made two substitute appearances in the tournament, coming on for Al Tahmari in the 44th minute of the second half against Malaysia and Al Naimat in the 29th minute of the second half against Bahrain. He remained on the bench for the group stage match against South Korea.
Jordan, meanwhile, had already dropped Al Dardour from their best squad and reorganized their attacking lineup around Al Tamari, Al Naimat, and Ali Olwan 바카라사이트 for this tournament.
Al Dardour will miss the rest of the tournament due to a three-match suspension, but he could have stayed with the team for the rest of the journey, but chose to leave the coaching staff.
Jordan have also been ruled out of their semi-final against South Korea after Ali Olwan, along with center back Salem Al Azalin, received their second bookings of the tournament in the quarterfinal against Tajikistan on Sunday.
Al-Azhalin and Ali Olwan had both received their first bookings for fouls in the third group game against Bahrain.
In his post-match press conference, Amuta commented on the two players’ disciplinary actions, saying, “Both players are the heart of our team and have helped us get here with their great performances today,” adding, “Olwan’s caution is unacceptable. Especially since we were playing by the rules. Even during the ceremony, we tried to avoid the warning,” he said.
“If it was a tactical foul to avoid giving the opponent an important chance, I could accept a caution or even a red card. But we didn’t want to give an unnecessary caution. Now the bench players need to step up and do their part in Korea.”
Al Tahmari, the only European in the squad, also looked like a doubt for the match, but has been given the green light to play against South Korea.
Singaporean journalist and commentator Rish Roshan Rai took to social media to comment on the Tajikistan game, writing, “Olwan’s suspension and Al Tamari’s potential injury. Both players are key for Jordan,” referring to the injury situation.
In addition to leg injuries, there were also head injuries. “Jordan’s main star Al Tamari suffered a minor injury, but it is not expected to affect his participation in the match against South Korea,” said Arab media outlet Qura, “He has a minor head injury, but he will be selected by the coach.”