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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Al Saad carry away Emir Cup, but some ticket holders miss out

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Photos courtesy of @alsaadfc on Twitter and QFA on Facebook

With a 3-0 score, FC Al Saad clinched last night’s Emir Cup, beating Al Sailiya and carrying away the trophy for a record 14th time.

On Twitter, fans reported a good atmosphere inside the stadium, but in an echo of events at last year’s final, some ticket holders were again denied entry to the match.

And also last night, ticket holder Joanne King posted on the Doha News Facebook page:

“Why is everyone being turned away from the stadium at the Emirs Cup, Khalifa stadium?? My family have been there since 6.20pm and are not allowed in..does anyone know why? How disappointing. Yet again another disappointing football event. 2022 – really????

It’s not yet clear why so many fans were turned away at the gates. A spokesperson for the Qatar Football Association, which organized the event, said the matter was being looked into.

The exclusion of paying fans at matches and events here is not without precedent. Aside from last year’s Emir Cup, similar scenarios played out at the 2013 Spain vs. Uruguay match (a delay blamed on slow security checks), and at the 2011 Asian Football Confederation Final.

‘One-sided’ match

Local sports weekly DohaStadiumPlus described last night’s final as “one-sided,” saying that Al Saad dominated surprise finalists Al Sailiya. Al Saad’s goals were scored by Spanish football star Raul Gonzalez and Qatari internationals Ibrahim Majed and Hassan Al Haidous.

The Emir Cup has been played every year since 1972. Al Sadd have won the event the most time – 14, in all – followed by Al Arabi, who have carried away the title seven times. Al Rayyan won the cup last year.

Were you at the match last night? Thoughts?

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