Ex-Waterford midfielder Faysel Kasmi says Blues spell 'happiest' time after positive drug test

Thu, Dec 27 2018

Kasmi in action for Waterford against Bohemians earlier this year. Credit: Martin Doherty

Former Waterford midfielder Faysel Kasmi faces being dismissed from current club KFCO Beerschot Wilrijk after a positive drug and alcohol test in police custody.

The 23-year-old was pulled over in his car on Sunday following a party with teammates to celebrate their 3-0 win over Lommel the previous day.

He was tested on the spot and found to be over the legal limit, while a saliva test also indicated the presence of an unnamed drug.

The midfielder took responsibility for his actions, revealing in a statement that he had been given a drink and should have refused.

While the test wasn’t administered by anti-doping authorities, so he won’t face any official sanction, the club may see it as grounds to terminate his contract.

The Belgian native signed back for the club, based near his hometown of Antwerp, during the summer following a productive six-month stint in the League of Ireland.

Kasmi proclaimed his time at the Blues to be the ‘happiest’ he had been in some time, and that he had resumed experiencing ‘ups and downs’ since returning to Belgium.

“During those six months in Ireland, I was the happiest player in the world,” Kasmi said.

“No more luxury, no frills. I shared a house with three other young guests from the first team. I was happy back on the field. I was enjoying myself again. I grew to top level.

“I am almost back the footballer that I was when Standard Liège came to pick me up at Lierse. I didn’t want to lose this chance. In Ireland, I was away from everything. It was more simple.

“But now I’ve got myself into difficulty. I’ve behaved like an idiot and I’m paying the price.

“I ended up among the wrong people at the wrong time and I made the wrong decision by taking a drink that I should have known should have been pushed aside.

“But I do not hide behind excuses: I got it and nobody else. I completely abandoned my family, my club and my managers by one very idiotic decision.

“I still love soccer more than anything in the world. I know that public opinion is going to condemn me now and I can not change that.”

Kasmi was a well-regarded prospect in Belgium and made his top-level debut for Lierse just after his 18th birthday in 2013.

He impressed enough to earn a loan move to Standard Liège, which didn’t go to plan, and after spending some time in Cyprus and the Lierse reserves, he signed for the Blues in January 2018.

Faysel Kasmi statement in full:

Let's face it. I have behaved like a retarded idiot and I now pay the price for it. I do my story in this press release, I hope you do not just pick out 1 or 2 sentences. After all, this is not just about my career, it's about my life. My career has actually been going through ups and downs for more than 2 years. In the summer of 2017 I arrived at a completely dead end at Lierse. I do not seek apologies, but that situation was not just my fault at the time: I had refused a forced transfer to a Greek second-grader and was punished for it. But even then I should have known better and react more positively. I was not professionally busy. My new management office made me realize that: even though I did not even get a training kit at the Lierse reserves,

Instead of behaving angry or humiliated, I tried to solve it in a positive way. It may sound ridiculous, but I had never seen anything like that before and nobody had taught me. I got back in shape and my managers found a new club for me in January 2018, Waterford FC, an Irish first division. During those six months in Ireland, I was the happiest football player in the world. No more luxury, no frills. I shared a house with three other young guests from the first team. I was happy back on the field, I am enjoying myself again, I grew to top level. I was almost back the footballer that I was when Standard Liège came to pick me up at Lierse.

Then that offer came from Beerschot, a club a few blocks from where I spent my childhood. Back to Antwerp, back for a club with a big name. I could not ignore that. In the beginning I had trouble finding my turn. In Ireland I was far away from everything, that was easier. But since November I felt that I was ready, it was just waiting for that one chance to show me. I could beat myself that I have taken away that one chance myself. After the last match for the winter break, there is traditionally always partied by the footballers.

But I should have paid more attention: I ended up among the wrong people at the wrong time and I made the wrong decision by taking a drink that I should have known should have been pushed aside. But I do not hide behind excuses: I got it and nobody else. I completely abandoned my family, my club and my managers by one very idiotic decision. I still love soccer more than anything in the world. I know that public opinion is going to condemn me now and I can not change that.

I apologize to the fans, the club and also - especially - to the youth players, to whom I have now shown a very bad example. I would prefer to crawl under a rock out of shame, but I also hope that you understand that I am also a human being with flaws and weaknesses like many others. However, I want to show everyone that I can become the player of old, preferably from my own Antwerp, but if necessary in any other place in the world.