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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Qatar kicks off first-ever FIFA Arab Cup with spectacular ceremony at World Cup stadium


The opening ceremony was held ahead of the Qatar versus Bahrain match on Tuesday.

Following the ceremony, attended by regional leaders including Qatar’s amir, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, President of Djibouti among others, the Qatari national team faced off in a match against Bahrain.

The end of the ceremony paved the way for the Qatar versus Bahrain game – an exciting match that saw the victory of the home team at the 69th minute with a stunning header from Abdulaziz Hatem.

Earlier, the first match for the much-awaited Arab tournament kicked off at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium and ended with a 5-0 win for Tunisia against Mauritania after a heated match between both teams.

Just hours later, Iraq took on Oman in a match that saw a dramatic last minute 1-1 draw. Shortly after, the United Arab Emirates dominated a game against Syria that ended with a 2-1 score.

The next match for the FIFA Arab Cup will kick off on Wednesday at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium at 1pm local time and will see both Algeria and Sudan competing for the dominant spot in Group D.

Meanwhile, Egypt will battle with Lebanon at 4pm, Morocco will take on Palestine at 7pm and Saudi Arabia will face off against Jordan at 10pm later on Wednesday.

All you need to know about the first FIFA Arab Cup

The much-awaited 19-day tournament will witness 16 teams fighting to take home the gleaming FIFA Arab Cup trophy for the first time – marking a historic moment for all involved in the event.

FIFA Arab Cup trophy: a symbol of Middle East unity

There are a total of four groups competing in the first round, each consisting of four teams.

Group A: Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Bahrain
Group B: Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Syria, Mauritania
Group C: Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine
Group D: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan

Each team will play three group matches with the top two sides from each group. The winner will qualify for the quarter-finals, which will take place on 10-11 December.

The four winners will then meet in the semi-finals, and those with the highest number of points will battle it out in the final match on 18 December.

Thousands of fans will be making their way to the six World Cup stadiums, all of which are ready to host 16 teams participating in the 19-day tournament in Doha.

The matches will take place in six World Cup stadiums across the country, including Al Bayt, Al Thumama, Ahmad Bin Ali, Education City stadium, 974, and Al Janoub.

The FIFA Arab Cup 2021, the first edition of its kind, is set to offer a glimpse of what to expect a year later at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Fans from around the world now have the opportunity to experience Qatar’s ultra-modern sports facilities ahead of the World Cup next year, from state-of-the-art stadiums to free and eco-friendly transportation and fan activities.

The tournament is also seen as a golden opportunity to test preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022, which will take place in a similar time slot next year.

In total, 32 matches will take place during the tournament.

Tickets for all matches are available here.

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