Salem Al-Dawsari leaves void in Saudi lineup for World Cup qualifiers

Salem Al-Dawsari

Riyadh, The Gulf Observer: The Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) announced that Salem Al-Dawsari has left the team’s camp on Tuesday, ruling him out of the upcoming World Cup 2026 and Asia Cup 2027 qualifiers against Pakistan and Jordan.

According to the statement by the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, “Coach Roberto Mancini allowed Salem Al-Dawsari to leave the national team camp… based on the medical report indicating his inability to participate and his need for treatment.”

Al-Dawsari, who won the Best Asian Player award last month, sustained an ankle injury in a match against Al-Taawoun following a tackle by Abdulmalik Al-Ayiri but persisted to complete the game.

Coach Mancini is still in search of his first victory with Saudi Arabia since taking charge at the end of August, having lost three out of four matches.

Saudi Arabia kicks off the second round of qualifiers by hosting Pakistan on Thursday before facing Jordan five days later in Group Seven, which also includes Tajikistan.

The top two teams from each group advance to the third round of World Cup qualifiers, and Saudi Arabia has already secured a spot in the 2027 Asian Cup as the host nation.