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Qatar to host FIFA Arab Cup in 2021

Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 November, 2020

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Qatar, host of World Cup 2022, will be the venue of a special 22-team Arab Cup next year.
Qatar will host a 22-team football tournament for Arab nations next year, FIFA announced on Wednesday, in preparation for the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking from the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the first-of-its-kind tournament will be played between 1 and 18 August and should be followed by millions of fans in the Arab world.

"We are delighted that all 22 teams from across the Arab world have agreed to take part in the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, which will be held in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums, and we are looking forward to seeing the region's best teams battle it out to see which nation will become champion," said Infantino.

"Through football, this tournament will unite over 450 million people from across the region, and we are confident that the FIFA Arab Cup will help to build excitement across the region as we edge ever nearer to hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world in 2022."

The 22 teams that will compete are: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, and Yemen.

Sixteen nations will play in the final stages of the tournament with the top two teams in each four groups qualifying for the quarter-finals.

QFA President HE Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al-Thani said that the tournament will allow the 22 teams to experience what Qatar has prepared for the 2022 World Cup.

"The tournament will give our national team the chance to enhance their preparations ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, by going up against some of the best teams in the region," he said.

"Fans from across the region will be treated to the same world-class experience that awaits fans from around the world when they flock to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. We welcome our friends from the Middle East and the Arab world to join us in what will be an important milestone and a final test of our preparations, only one year away from us hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the region."

In 2022, Qatar will be the first Arab country to host a World Cup, one of the biggest global events in sports.

Next month, the Gulf state will also host the Asian Champions League final and the FIFA Club World Cup in February.

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