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.
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.
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.
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.