American Basketball Player Marcus Campbell Held Hostage in Qatar After Team Changes Quota for Foreign Players

Beware, basketball players signing contracts with professional leagues in foreign lands. Not every contract is worth the paper it is printed on.

Marcus Campbell found that out Thursday when he attempted to board a plane in Qatar and was denied exit from the country. Campbell, an American player who has played in the NBADL and overseas leagues, was trying to get to his new job in Cyprus after his Qatari team failed to honor his contract.

“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 can’t get out?” said Bill McCandless, Campbell’s agent.

The bizarre episode stems from Campbell’s club, Al Rayyan Doha, abruptly changing its quota for African and foreign players on the roster, according to court-side.com Campbell was paid only $1,430 for his 50 days with the team, the website reports, out of the $10,000-per-month salary he had signed for. McCandless, who had dealt with the Qatari league before, insisted on a $25,000 severance penalty, plus Campbell’s owed salary and agent fees, in the event Doha released Campbell.

Once Campbell was released, the club instead offered Campbell $20,000 without salary or fees, but Campbell refused to take it. He appealed to FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, and planned to continue playing in Cyprus while FIBA and Doha worked it all out.

When Campbell went to the airport, though, he learned that the Qatar Basketball Federation had not given him an exit visa. According to the report, the league and the club have insinuated that Campbell can have his exit visa — as soon as he signs the $20,000 settlement.

Thumbnail via Facebook/Marcus Campbell

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