Football in Qatar
AlGharafa AlRayyan Emir Cup.jpg
CountryQatar
Governing bodyQatar Football Association (QFA)
National team(s)Qatar
First played1948; 74 years ago (1948)
Clubs20
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions
Qatar national football team in 2011.

Football is the most popular sport in Qatar.[1][2][3][4] Football in Qatar is organized by the Qatar Football Association (QFA).[5]

Qatar hosted the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, the 2020 FIFA Club World Cup[6] and the 2021 FIFA Arab Cup.[7] It will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup[8] and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.[9][10]

History

Al Janoub Stadium hosted the 2020 AFC Champions League Final. Part of Qatar's plan to demonstrate its ability to host international football matches.
Al Janoub Stadium hosted the 2020 AFC Champions League Final. Part of Qatar's plan to demonstrate its ability to host international football matches.

Football was introduced to the country in 1948 when oil workers organized a match among themselves.[11] The first football club was established in 1950 under the name 'Al-Najah', which went on to form Al Ahli. This was followed by the organization of the first football tournament in 1951 called 'Izz al-Din Championship' by the Qatar Oil Company. In the late 1950s, the name was changed to 'Pukett Cup'.[12]

The Qatar Football Association was formed in 1960 and the first league season was launched in 1963–64. League matches were played in Doha Sports Stadium, which accommodated the first grass football pitch in the region.[12]

Spectatorship

Attendance at QSL matches ranges between 2,000 and 10,000, depending on the popularity of the teams.[13] In a 2014 survey conducted by Qatari government ministries and departments, 65% of the 1,079 respondents indicated that they did not attend a football match in the previous league season.[14] Lack of time, unsuitable atmospheres for females and the presence of paid fans were all major factors for not attending. The highest deterrent was climate, which was cited by seventy-three percent respondents as impacting their decision to attend a football match.[15]

As an initiative to gauge public opinion and increase local participation in sports with an emphasis on football, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) launched the Jeeran program in April 2015.[16] The program involves seeking the opinion and advice of people in majlises, as well as encouraging large-scale community involvement, particularly by women.[17]

Most successful teams

Team Total Number of Trophies Qatar Stars League Winners Emir Cup Winners Crown Prince Cup Winners Sheikh Jassem Cup Winners Qatari Stars Cup Winners Qatar FA Cup Winners
Al-Sadd 58 15 (1972, 1974, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1987, 1988, 1989, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2013, 2019, 2021) 18 (1975, 1977, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2020, 2021) 8 (1998, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2017, 2020, 2021) 15 (1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2006, 2014, 2017, 2019) 2 (2010, 2020)
Qatar SC 24 8 (1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1977, 2003) 8 (1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976) 3 (2002, 2004, 2009) 4 (1983, 1984, 1987, 1995) 1 (2014)
Al-Rayyan 23 8 (1976, 1978, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1990, 1995, 2016) 6 (1999, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2013) 4 (1995, 1996, 2001, 2012) 5 (1992, 2000, 2012, 2013, 2018)
Al-Arabi 23 7 (1983, 1985, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997) 8 (1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1993) 1 (1997) 6 (1980, 1982, 1994, 2008, 2010, 2011) 1 (2022)
Al-Gharafa 22 7 (1992, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010) 7 (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2009, 2012) 3 (2000, 2010, 2011) 2 (2005, 2007) 3 (2009, 2018, 2019)
Al-Duhail 15 7 (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2020) 3 (2016, 2018, 2019) 3 (2013, 2015, 2018) 2 (2015, 2016)
Al-Wakrah 8 2 (1999, 2001) 1 (1999) 4 (1989, 1991, 1998, 2004) 1 (2012)
Al-Ahli (Doha) 4 4 (1973, 1981, 1987, 1992)
Al-Maref 3 3 (1964, 1965, 1966)
El-Jaish 3 2 (2014, 2016) 1 (2013)
Al-Khor 2 1 (2005) 1 (2002)
Umm-Salal 2 1 (2008) 1 (2009)
Al-Muaither 1 1 (2003)
Al-Shamal 1 1 (1996)
Al-Sailiya 2 1 (2021) 1 (2021)

National team

Main article: Qatar national football team

The Qatar national team has had limited international success and has often been accused of abusing naturalisation laws to acquire players.[18][19][20] However, they did win the Arabian Gulf Cup three times and won their first AFC Asian Cup in 2019.[21]

FIFA World Cup

In 2010, Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first Arab country to host the tournament.[22] Following a controversy over bidding, a report by FIFA cleared Qatar’s name from all allegations.[23]

In June 2019, the FIFA Council announced Qatar as the host of 2019 FIFA Club World Cup and 2020 FIFA Club World Cup.[24]

In March 2022, FIFA president Gianni Infantino claimed in an interview that the gulf nation is being progressive in terms of its labor rights & migrant rights issues that prevailed in the nation previously by adding “I am pleased to see the strong commitment from the Qatari authorities to ensure the reforms are fully implemented across the labour market, leaving a lasting legacy of the FIFA World Cup long after the event, and benefiting migrant workers in the host country in the long term.”[25][26][27]

On Thursday 11 August 2022, FIFA officially moved up the opening match of this year's World Cup by one day to November 20 in an unusual change for hosts Qatar to appear in the gala game.[28][29]

See also

References

  1. ^ Atkinson, Simon (2013-01-11). "BBC News - Qatar turns to football for fame and fans". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  2. ^ "Qatar hopes to inspire more youngsters to play football | GulfNews.com". M.gulfnews.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  3. ^ "Soccer: How Qatar became a player in world soccer - ESPN". Espn.go.com. 2010-12-23. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  4. ^ Blickenstaff, Brian (2011-09-14). "Qatar Football Dreams: Is it a humanitarian project or a scheme to buy Africa's best players?". Slate.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  5. ^ Glenn Moore (2013-03-22). "Qatar targets historic feats on the pitch too - World Cup 2014 - Football". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  6. ^ "FIFA Council appoints Qatar as host of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2019 and 2020". 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  7. ^ "2021 FIFA Arab Cup: Participating teams, fixtures and all you need to know". 2021-12-18. Retrieved 2022-10-21.
  8. ^ "FIFA Executive Committee confirms November/December event period for Qatar 2022". 2015-03-19. Archived from the original on 2019-06-19. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  9. ^ "Qatar to host 2023 Aisan Cup – Asian Football Confederation". 2022-10-17. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  10. ^ "Qatar To Host 2023 Asian Cup Football: AFC". 2022-10-17. Retrieved 2022-10-20.
  11. ^ "Football". Archived from the original on 2015-02-06. Retrieved 2021-09-24.
  12. ^ a b "History of football in Qatar". sc.qa. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Qatar Stars League attendances hit record high". Qatar Stars League. 23 Feb 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  14. ^ "The audience are reluctant to attend football matches at stadiums". qatarisbooming.com. 25 January 2014. Archived from the original on 2 October 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  15. ^ Amna Nasralla (11 February 2015). "Why People Do Not Attend Football Matches in Qatar". Qatar Sports Tanmiya. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  16. ^ "SC promotes engagement plan at stadium launch". Gulf Times. 23 April 2015. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  17. ^ Sara Al-Thani (11 February 2015). "Breaking Barriers". Qatar Sports Tanmiya. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  18. ^ "ESPNsoccernet - Global - Qatar naturalisation plans annoy Blatter". Espnfc.com. 2004-03-08. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  19. ^ "Football: Qatar enjoy fruits of imported foreign talent". News.asiaone.com. 2011-01-21. Archived from the original on 2018-09-04. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  20. ^ "The football 'invaders from Brazil' - CNN.com". Edition.cnn.com. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
  21. ^ "Qatar clinch historic title". the-afc.com. 1 February 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  22. ^ "FIFA Executive Committee confirms November/December event period for Qatar 2022". FIFA. Archived from the original on June 19, 2019. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
  23. ^ "World Cup inquiry clears Qatar but criticises English FA". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  24. ^ "FIFA Council appoints Qatar as host of the FIFA Club World Cup in 2019 and 2020". FIFA. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  25. ^ "FIFA President 'pleased' with progress in Qatar's labour reforms". 2022-03-17. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  26. ^ "FIFA President and Qatar Minister of Labour meet to discuss progress of labour rights". 2022-03-15. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  27. ^ "Infantino: Qatar 'not paradise' but World Cup seeing changes". 2022-03-29. Retrieved 2022-09-16.
  28. ^ "FIFA advances World Cup by a day for Qatar". AFP. 12 August 2022. Retrieved 24 October 2022 – via Express Tribune.
  29. ^ "Qatar v. Ecuador to kick off FIFA World Cup 2022™ on 20 November". 2022-08-11. Retrieved 2022-09-16.