2021 Qatar tournament to be used as World Cup test-run
FIFA have approved the QFA request to stage a tournament in December 2021 featuring national teams from Arab nations from Asia and Africa.
As the drive continues for Qatar to aspire to the highest level in organizing the 2022 World Cup, FIFA have approved the request from the Qatari football association to organize an international soccer tournament in December 2021 with the staging of the competition something of a test-run a year before the Gulf nation hosts the 2022 World Cup. The approval from FIFA will see a new tournament staged between December 1-18 with Arab nations from Asia and Africa set to participate. Given the friendly nature of the proposed competitions, national sides will not need to call upon their top professionals.
The FIFA approval comes a few days after Hassan Al-Thawadi, secretary general of the SC (Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body responsible for managing the projects of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar) showed his enthusiasm for Qatar to organize am international tournament given that the FIFA Club World Cup is destined to be held in China in 2021 and this new competition will serve as an ideal drill a year before the start of the World Cup in 2022. The competition will also showcase operational processes and required level of preparation ahead of the 2022 gala event.
Perfect opportunity for Arab nations
The structure and composition of this new competition has yet to be clarified but it's been suggested that between 8-10 national teams will be involved. Two groups are envisaged with the top two advancing to a semi-final stage. The tournament will serve as a fine opportunity for the national teams from Arab nations to secure some international practice as the 2022 event looms closer with participating teams also getting to play in stadiums that will also be used for the 2022 World Cup. The final of this new tournament will be staged on the same day (December 18) that the 2022 final will be held and this date coincides with the national day of Qatar.
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