“Forward to a brighter future!” That is the motto for Qatari football in the coming years, especially with the Maroon readying themselves to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. With that in mind, the Qatar Football Association (QFA) has been focusing its efforts on the nation’s youth teams.
The U-19 side have reaped the benefit by winning the AFC Asian Cup in the age group, securing in the process qualification for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015, with their youth set-up now pinning their sights on a spot at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016. At senior level, meanwhile, a programme designed to make Qatar one of the best teams in the continent was rolled out four years ago.
“Though we’ve made the final round, we’re determined to be at our best in these last two games,” vowed the tactician. “We need to show the same competitive spirit and produce the same level of performance to get the right results.”
His team will have many more opportunities to improve their standing in the global hierarchy over the next two years. One target they will have in their sights is to get back up to 58th place, a position they last held in late 2006. Another will be to make their world finals debut before they face the ultimate challenge of hosting the tournament in 2022.