Browsing 'football' News

QFA

Qatar football players show support for Emir Sheikh Tamim

Qatar’s football federation has been reprimanded and fined by FIFA for getting political at a World Cup qualifying match.

The CHF50,000 (QR188,800) penalty was issued this week, over what happened at a June 13 game against South Korea.

At the time, players and fans had showed support for Qatar’s Emir, shortly after four countries instituted a blockade against the nation.

Qatar Football Association / Twitter

Qatar football players wearing t-shirts bearing the image of Sheikh Tamim

They did this by warming up in shirts that carried the Emir’s face on them.

Also during the game, South Korean fans unfurled a “We Love Qatar” banner and waved Qatar flags to express their support for the country.

Too political

FIFA said Qatar was sanctioned for “displaying a political image” and for “improper conduct among spectators (political displays).”

Player Hasan Khalid Alhaydos was also fined CHF5,000 (QR18,700) for “unsporting behavior.”

QFA

Qatar versus South Korea

According to the Associated Press, this was because he took a T-shirt from a fan and lifted it high in the air after scoring a goal.

Qatar has been sanctioned at least two other times during the 2018 qualifiers.

It incurred a QR113,000 fine during a match against Iran in January 2016 for “team misconduct.” And more recently, it got off with a warning in March after a match started late.

Qatar won the South Korea match in June, and now still has a small chance to qualify to play in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The national team’s last two matches will be against Syria and China at the end of August and beginning of September.

Thoughts?

All photos courtesy of QFA

There’s still a small chance that Qatar’s national football team will qualify to play in the 2018 World Cup, following last night’s surprise win over South Korea.

Qatar beat its rival 3-2 at Al Sadd Stadium. In a nod to the current Gulf dispute, the national team warmed up in shirts that carried the Emir’s face on them.

And much to residents’ delight, South Korean fans unfurled a “We Love Qatar” banner and waved Qatar flags to express their support for the country.

Coach resigns

Despite the win, Qatar’s coach resigned shortly after the game, according to Reuters.

Jorge Fossati of Uruguay had only been coach for less than a year. He was brought on to replace José Daniel Carreño, who was sacked in September due to the national team’s poor performance.

QFA

Qatar football coach Jorge Fossati

However, under Fossati the team still hasn’t met with much success. And until last night, it was at the very bottom of its six-team group, behind China and Syria.

The victory does buy it a little more time to try to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Russia. This is an important goal for Qatar, whose team has never qualified to play in the tournament.

Focusing on homegrown talent

It remains unclear why Fossati wishes to leave, though Qatar Football Association officials are expected to try to persuade him to stay, Reuters said.

However, in November, the coach did say he would resign if the federation decides to turn its focus to grooming homegrown players, instead of importing talent.

Reem Saad / Doha News

National team

At the time, he said:

“If the federation wants to go another way, I’ll respect its decision 100 percent. And it’ll be better for the Qatar national team to have another coach who supports that view.”

The national’s teams last two matches will be against Syria and China at the end of August and beginning of September.

Thoughts?

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Two Qatari firms have been brought on to build several training sites around the country ahead of the 2022 World Cup, organizers have announced.

The sites are expected to be located in the vicinities of the Aspire Zone, Qatar University, Doha Golf Course, Al Sailiya and West Bay, among other areas.

They will be used by visiting national football teams as they get ready to compete in the 2022 tournament.

Nakheel Landscapes and Gulf Contracting have been awarded the contracts for the project, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) announced this week.

So far, the number of training grounds has not been determined.

But FIFA has instructed Russia to build 36 of them ahead of next year’s World Cup. That’s three for each of its 12 stadiums.

Russian LOC via FIFA

Mordovia Arena – Saransk, Russia – April 2017

So far, Qatar is planning on having eight stadiums ready for its World Cup in 2022.

In a statement, Yasir Al Jamal, vice chairman of the Technical Delivery Office at the SCDL, said:

“We’re delighted to begin work on this exciting project, which will guarantee state-of-the-art training facilities for all teams that participate in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Our goal is to offer the visiting teams the ideal conditions so that they can be at their best level during the tournament, while also building facilities which will offer lasting legacy opportunities for the local community.”

Requirements

According to organizers, the training sites must be completed to FIFA specifications by 2019.

That means Qatar residents will likely see even more construction over the next few years.

The venues must meet several requirements.

Isabell Schulz/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

According to FIFA’s criteria for Russia, these include high-quality pitches; a press center that holds at least 100 people; dressing rooms; parking; and spectator areas that accommodate at least 500 fans.

The SCDL said Nakheel Landscapes will build all the training site facilities, including site infrastructure and FIFA-compliant pitches. It will also handle landscaping.

Meanwhile, Gulf Contracting will oversee specialist works for “modular, demountable and pre-fabricated buildings to be used as ancillary facilities and changing rooms.”

Getting ready

With five years to before the World Cup in Qatar, organizers are already hard at work readying eight stadiums for the tournament, including six built completely from scratch.

Its first stadium, Khalifa International, opened to the public this month with great fanfare after undergoing renovations to become World Cup ready.

SCDL

Khalifa International Stadium – 2022 FIFA World Cup venue

The next venues to be completed will be in Al Wakrah and Al Khor (Al Bayt) at the end of next year, with Al Rayyan and Qatar Foundation to follow in 2019.

The designs for the three remaining stadiums in Lusail, Ras Abu Aboud and Al Thumama have yet to be released.

But those buildings should be done by the end of 2020, organizers previously said.

Thoughts?