Qatar undergoes testing for the first time after four months of preparation behind closed doors | football | Sports

Two months after the World Cup finals, the Qatar national team faces a preparatory match without references of experimental value on Friday against Canada in Vienna (12:00 Ecuador time), where the Gulf national team will meet again in front of its fans after four. Months of training behind closed doors.

In what form of state selection organization? It is difficult to say, especially after the difficult 3-0 loss to Croatia’s under-23 team on Tuesday in a match without an audience, which raised the concern of the Qatari fans.

Since June 2, all matches of the national team have been held without an audience.

Even sponsors had to stay away from the training grounds in Spain and Austria, as the Qatari players prepare for a baptism of fire in the opening match against Ecuador (November 20).

Having spent billions of dollars to host the first World Cup finals in the Middle East, the rich country hopes that its team will advance to the first round in Group A, where they will meet, In addition to the three colorsto the Netherlands and Senegal.

All about the Qatar World Cup 2022

This week, it is time for the real test of the Gulf team: the first friendly matches with the crowd in Vienna, against Canada on Friday and Chile on Tuesday, should allow us to judge the development of the team coached by Felix Sanchez since then. 2017.

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The team’s spokesman, Ali Salat, told AFP that the Spanish coach had agreed with the Qatar Football Association to remove 30 players from the country and from the prying eyes of their competitors.

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“The coach and the federation have been in contact during the season. It was agreed.”

Players have been released by their Qatari clubs in order to prepare as much as possible for the big event, when European or South American teams will recall only their stars, and be mobilized for the club championship, on November 14, close to the date. championship.

Qatar meets with tight schedule of friendly matches

Ali Salat said the deadline should allow Qatar to prepare as best as possible: Sanchez and his team will return briefly to Doha in early October, before returning to Spain for a new period of isolation before the tournament kicks off.

Qatar is the lowest ranked in Group A: 48th in the world according to the FIFA rankings.

They failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup but won the Asian Cup in 2019 and reached the semi-finals of the CONCACAF Cup last year.

With their eyes on Akram Afif, the 2019 AFC Player of the Year, Qatar fans are dreaming of a similar path to South Korea’s in the 2002 World Cup. The tournament’s co-organizer reached the semi-finals that year.

To have a chance of reaching the Round of 16, Qatar must defeat Ecuador in the opening match on November 20, former local player Mohamed Mubarak Al Mohannadi believes.

He told AFP that Qatari football players were “preparing for the World Cup for the first time in their lives.” “Going abroad for a long time is difficult, but the players know their mission.”

“The Qatari people will come to support them, but they want to see a quality of football that they can be proud of,” he adds. (Dr)

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Amber Cross

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