If you are watching the CONCACAF Gold Cup, the regional championship game of the North American, Central American and Caribbean national teams, you may watch it again after watching the game in Qatar.
Of course, Qatar plays in the Asian region and became the defending Asian champion after winning the Continental European Championship in 2019. But as the small Persian Gulf country (population close to 3 million) prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it is trying every possible way to let its national team participate in the best game it can find, and hope it can have a good next year which performed.
Qataris’ participation in the Gold Cup fits this plan.
How did Qatar enter the Gold Cup?
Football governing bodies in Asia, Central and North America and the Caribbean Established a strategic partnership for work In 2018, to support the development of football in the world.
This is an agreement that considers competition opportunities, etc. The two regions also pledged to exchange referees and share best practices around hosting the World Cup. Qatar will host the event in 2022, followed by the United States, Canada and Mexico in 2026.
As part of this arrangement, Qatar was invited to participate in the Gold Cup in 2021 and 2023.Qatar’s invitation also led to Qatar Airways joining, which would not do any harm As a sponsor of many years of events.
This is of great significance to the Qataris, who have been on the World Tour in recent years because they are ready to show their best as the World Cup hosts.
Why does Qatar participate in the Gold Cup?
Qatar attaches great importance to the game against outstanding opponents.
As the host of the 2022 World Cup, Qatar automatically won a seat in the event, but it is still participating in the Asian World Cup qualifiers because these games are also twice as many as the 2023 Asian Championship qualifiers.
In addition, it also participates as a “shadow” team European World Cup Qualifiers Group A, Just for it to be able to compete with European competitions. Qatar’s matches are considered friendly matches and they are not counted in the group’s standings, but Qatar has performed well so far: earlier this year it defeated Luxembourg and Azerbaijan and tied with the Republic of Ireland (focus below).
And this summer, in addition to the Gold Cup, Qatar also plans to participate in the national team’s South American Championship, the 2021 Copa America, but due to obvious schedule conflicts, it withdrew earlier this year. Qatar has participated in the 2019 Copa America, playing against Paraguay (2-2 draw), Argentina (2-0 loss) and Colombia (1-0 loss) in the group stage.
Jinbei guest invitation is not unprecedented
Special teams for international competitions are not a new practice in global football. The South American football organization CONMEBOL regularly invites Mexico to participate in its Copa America. The United States participated in the America’s Cup in 1993, 1995, 2007 and 2016, and advanced to the semi-finals twice (1995, 2016).
CONCACAF has invited teams in the past to help improve the world-class level of the Gold Cup and provide high-quality opposition for its teams. It started with one of the best teams: Brazil was invited to participate in the three-time Gold Cup in 1996 (the second First place), 1998 (third place) and 2003 (second place). Other Gold Cup invitees include Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, South Africa and South Korea.
However, as the quality of the national team has greatly improved, the Central and North American and Caribbean Football Association withdrew from this practice after 2005, and the Qatar team has been invited for the first time since then.
Gold Cup history visiting team
- 1996: Brazil
- 1998: Brazil
- 2000: Colombia, Peru, South Korea
- year 2002: Ecuador, South Korea
- Year 2003: Brazil, Colombia
- In 2005: South Africa, Colombia
Qatar’s schedule in the Gold Cup
Qatar, coached by Spaniard Felix Sanchez, will play group matches in Houston against Panama (July 13), Grenada (July 17) and Honduras (July 20).
Qatar is ranked 58th in the world and fifth in the 16-team Gold Cup. Its outstanding players include captain Hassan Al-Haydos (pictured above), forward Almoz Ali (2019 Asian Championship top scorer) and budding winger Akram Afif.
There is no doubt that Qatar, which is still unbeaten in 2021, will have the ambition to advance from the group stage and may make even greater progress. If Qatar can become one of the top two teams in the group, it will face one of its opponents in Group A in the quarter-finals of the Gold Cup: Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala or Trinidad and Tobago. Qatar has defeated El Salvador in a friendly before the Gold Cup.
If the Asian champions can make enough progress to be able to play a game with regional powers Mexico or the United States, this may be considered a success, and Mexico or the United States are potential opponents for the 2022 World Cup. If the games help Qatar, they will also be useful for the North American and Caribbean teams that may have to face the Qatars.