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SportsQatar – World Cup Profile

Qatar – World Cup Profile

Qatar may have qualified automatically as hosts, but their preparation for a World Cup on home soil has perhaps been one of the most comprehensive for any side in the history of the tournament. After their shock AFC Asian Cup win in 2019, Al Annabi have gone on a world tour to prepare for a first-ever World Cup. First came a 2019 appearance at the Copa America in Brazil, in which they failed to qualify for the knockout phases finishing behind the likes of Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay in Group B.

This was followed up with the 2021 Gold Cup, which ended with a creditable third-place finish with Qatar losing to eventual winners USA in the semi-finals. Finally, Qatar also took part in the UEFA Qualification group stage, taking the likes of Portugal and Serbia in vital preparation games against a higher calibre of opposition. Now, after seventh months in camp playing various behind-closed-doors friendlies Qatar will take on Ecuador, Senegal and Netherlands. It will be interesting to see if their hard work will pay off and see Qatar progress to the round of sixteen.

History at the World Cup

Qatar has never previously qualified for the World Cup.

Player to Watch 

Qatar are counting on Akram Afif for the goals needed to get the victories required in the group. Afif, who will be 26 two days before the November 20 start of the World Cup, was born in Doha to a Tanzanian footballer father and Yemeni mother. He played for the Qatari-owned Eupen team in Belgium as well as Sporting Gijon in Spain before joining Al-Sadd, who were Qatari champions in 2021 and 2022.

Group fixtures

November 20: Qatar v Ecuador – Al Bayt Stadium

November 25: Qatar v Senegal – Al Thumama Stadium

November 29: Netherlands v Qatar – Al Bayt Stadium

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