June 25, 2020

Qatar and FIFA to stage pan-Arab tournament in 2021

Emir of Qatar

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Qatar and FIFA to stage pan-Arab tournament in 2021

…Tournament will support preparations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Qatar  Football  Association  (QFA)  and  FIFA  have  announced  plans  to  deliver  a pan-Arab tournament that will be played in the Gulf state in late 2021, with the competition acting as a crucial preparatory event for the FIFA World Cup 2022™, that kicks off on 21 November 2022.

The competition   proposal   was   presented   to   FIFA   Council   members   via videoconference  by  H.E.  Hassan Al  Thawadi,  Secretary-General  of  the  Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and Chairman of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022  LLC  (Q22).The  FIFA  Council  subsequently  approved  the  formation  of  the competition.

The 22-team invitational tournament for men’s national teams will be contested by Arab nations from Africa and Asia. It will be played outside the International Match Calendar. The tournament, which will be held in Qatar from 1-18 December 2021, will be delivered by Q22 and will allow the organisers to use facilities and run operations that are also planned for the subsequent FIFA World Cup 2022™.

The tournament will take place during the same timeslot as the FIFA World Cup 2022™, with the final taking place exactly one year before the Qatar 2022 final is scheduled to kick-off.

All  tournament  matches  will  be  played  at  Qatar  2022  stadiums.  In  addition  to utilising Qatar 2022 stadiums and training sites, the tournament will provide a vital opportunity for fans, players and officials to use host country facilities, including transport and accommodation.

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President  of  the  QFA,  H.E.  Sheikh  Hamad  Bin  Khalifa  Bin  Ahmad  Al  Thani, said: “This is an exciting moment for Qatar and football fans across the region and  around  the  world.  This  new  pan-Arab  tournament  will  see  teams  from across  the  region  go  head-to-head  in  state-of-the-art  FIFA  World  Cup  venues and allow teams and fans to experience Qatar as a tournament host country. This  tournament  marks  an  important  footballing  milestone  for  the  country and the region, and everyone involved in delivering it will gain more essential experience  ahead  of  the  Qatar  World  Cup.”

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Al Thawadi said: “This exciting tournament will act as a perfect preparatory event for Qatar ahead of the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world.

“Qatar has hosted many events since it was awarded the World Cup hosting rights back in 2010, but this will be our biggest yet and it will prove essential in utilising facilities and services ahead of 2022. The tournament is also being held at exactly the same time as the World Cup, meaning fans, players and officials will get a taste of what’s to come in 2022.

“The   creation   of   this   pan-Arab   tournament   reinforces   our   longstanding commitment that the FIFA World Cup 2022 will be a tournament that benefits the  entire  Arab  world,  one  that  showcases  the  beauty  of  the  region  and  the immense  passion  that  exists  for  the  game.”

Full details of tournament participants, along with the match schedule, will be  shared  in  due course.  The  delivery  of  the  event  will  be  led  by  Q22  staff, supported by the QFA, FIFA and the SC.