|Full name||Zahir Belounis|
|Date of birth||February 15, 1980|
|Place of birth||Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, France|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|2001–2003||FAIRM Île-Rousse Monticello|
|2005–2007||La Tour/Le Pâquier|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Zahir Belounis (born 15 February 1980) is a French-Algerian Football player who plays as a striker. The refusal of authorities in Qatar, where he was playing football, to grant him an exit visa after a pay dispute, brought him to wider attention.
He was in a dispute over unpaid wages from 2010 but because in Qatar, the employer has control over exit visas under the Kafala system, he was unable to leave the country. Belounis threatened to go on hunger strike to draw attention to his cause and in 2013, he wrote an open letter to 2022 World Cup ambassadors Zinedine Zidane and Pep Guardiola to garner support. FIFA declined to take up his case as Belounis had appealed via the Qatari authorities and not through FIFA.
After 19 months he was granted an exit visa and left Qatar to return to France. Belounis admitted that during his time awaiting an exit visa he had planned to leave Qatar illegally, considered suicide and had turned to alcohol to help him cope with his situation.
- "Zahir Belounis: another embarrassment for Qatar". World Soccer. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Soccer Politics / The Politics of Football » Zahir Belounis: A Virtual Captive in Qatar
- Footballer Zahir Belounis held in Qatar finally can leave | Mail Online
- 'Stranded ' footballer Zahir Belounis told he can leave Qatar - CNN.com
- French footballer trapped in Qatar asks Guardiola and Zidane for help | Football | The Guardian
- que-ouvriers-exploites-la-strategie-marketing-du-qatar-fragilisee.html Zahir Belounis bloqué, ouvriers exploités : la stratégie marketing du Qatar fragilisée - le Plus
- Exclusive: Is Zahir Belounis a Qatari wage slave or not? Local FA break silence to dispute footballer's 'nightmare' tale - News & Comment - Football - The Independent
- "Trapped Zahir Belounis planned to escape from Qatar before release". BBC news. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
- "Belounis freed to leave Qatar". ESPN. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Andrew Warshaw: Qatar's Belounis case is raising questions and damaging reputation - Inside World Football
- Zahir Belounis: another embarrassment for Qatar – World Soccer Daily (01/10/2013) « World Soccer World Soccer
- Soccer Is Just Another Word For Slavery in Qatar - Bloomberg