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Qatari legends anticipating Qatar’s first FIFA Arab Cup

Sun 25 April 2021 | 19:41

The FIFA Arab Cup will be hosted in Qatar this year and the tournament’s draw will happen on Tuesday at Katara Opera House.

The number of national teams fighting for the trophy is twenty-three and the games will be played at six venues of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It is considered as a final practice for the first World Cup in the Arab and the Middle East, which occurs from 21 November to 18 December 2022. Before the draw,

qatar2022.qa

had a discussion with some of Qatar Legacy Ambassadors about the tournament before the World Cup.

One of the best African players,

Wael Gomaa

, said:

“Firstly, the Arab Cup will provide the Qatar 2022 organisers with an important final test of stadiums and all the related infrastructure that will play a key role in hosting a successful World Cup.

“Secondly, Arab teams from Africa can use the tournament as a welcome opportunity to test their squads for the African Cup of Nations set to take place in early 2022, whereas those Asian countries which end up qualifying for the World Cup can use the tournament to prepare themselves for the big stage,” Gomaa added.

“Thirdly, there are the social implications of the Arab Cup, in that the tournament will unite fans and teams from across the Arab region, something that no other football competition has been able to do at this scale in the recent past.”

Khalid Salman

, who is well known for his hat-trick for Qatar in the battle against Brazil in 1981’s FIFA World Youth Championship, thinks some highly anticipated matches will be provided by the Arab Cup.

We will have current and former continental champions mixing it up with up-and-coming teams – it will be an exciting tournament and one that shows teams from the Arab region in the best possible light,”

said Salman.

“And to play the tournament at World Cup stadiums while benefiting from World Cup infrastructure, including the transport network, training sites and top-class accommodation, will make it even more special.”

For another Qatari legend,

Ibrahim Khalfan

, the tournament will be the climax of a crucial year for the World Cup hosts.

The Qatar national team is in the midst of what will be a very formative few months in its preparations. Playing in the European qualifiers, along with their debut in the Gold Cup, will provide key experiences for their growth as a squad,”

said Khalfan.

“The Arab Cup will provide yet another important experience before the World Cup and comes as part of a comprehensive plan put in place by the Qatar Football Association to prepare our team for the big stage.”

Qatar are going to enter the tournament as Asia’s champions after grabbing the 2019’s continental title, vanquishing Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Korea Republic and Japan.

The first Qatari player to have played abroad,

Adel Khamis

, insists that the players will start with a lot of confidence and strength when entering as champions.

“Although many of the participating nations in the Arab Cup will boast players from the world’s best clubs, and will come into the tournament wanting to make a statement prior to the World Cup, I am certain that the Qatari team will prove to be a difficult opponent,”

said Khamis.

Notwithstanding the game’s popularity in Arab, the including countries are struggling to get qualified for the second round at the FIFA World Cup, with the first one making it out of the group stage being Morocco at Mexico 86. The next ones to enter the second round were Saudi Arabia in 1994 and Algeria in 2014.

Mubarak Mustafa

, on the other hand, believes Arab teams have been improving recently, as four teams qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup that took place in Russia.

“I’m certain that Arab teams will have their say at the World Cup. In the past, one could see the anxiety that Arab teams felt when facing football giants like Argentina and Brazil. More recently, this has changed. Teams from the region are now playing with much more confidence. This is as a result of many Arab players plying their craft in top European leagues,”

said Mustafa.

The Arab Cup, therefore will be a celebration of this new, exciting style of play, and will give the world an idea of what teams from the region are capable of achieving on the world stage,”

he added.


source: SportMob