The Emir Cup, Qatar â€™s version of the FA Cup, reaches its climax with the semi-final round of matches this week. Record winners of the annual competition, Al Sadd (13-times), will face Al Rayyan today whilst Doha-based Qatar SC contends with Umm Salal on Saturday, May 8, both in Doha. Incidentally, all four teams have won the competition at least once since its inception in 1972.
The winners of the semi-finals will confirm their places in the finals fixed for May 15 at the state-of-art Khalifa Stadium. The final will be graced by His Royal Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
The Emir Cup, considered the biggest football tournament is held in honour of the leader of the oil-rich gulf state. It pitches first and second division clubs together in the battle for the one of the most sought after trophies in the gulf state.
In all, 18 clubs took part in this yearâ€™s edition with 12 from the Qatar Stars League (QSL) and the other six from the second division.League champions, Al Gharafa are the defending champions.
The Emir Cup is one of five football events held in Qatar every season. The others are the Heir Apparent Cup, Sheikh Jassem Cup, Qatar Stars League and Qatar Stars Cup.