Sport in Qatar
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Sport in Qatar is primarily centered on football in terms in participation and spectators. Additionally, athletics, basketball, handball, volleyball, camel racing, horse racing, cricket and swimming are also widely practiced. There are currently 11 multi-sports clubs in the country, and 7 single-sports clubs.
The largest Sporting event hosted in Qatar was the 2006 Asian Games, hosted in Doha. There were 46 disciplines from 39 events contested. The Games were marred by the death of South Korean equestrian rider Kim Hyung-chil in a fatal accident during competition.
Sport by number of athletes registered
Statistics accurate as of 2013.
Basketball is an increasingly popular sport in Qatar. The country won several medals at the Asian Basketball Championship and even qualified for the Basketball World Cup. This is especially noteworthy because of the country's small size.
The Qatari national football team's greatest footballing achievement was when they won the Gulf Cup twice, first in 1992, and again in 2004. The Youth team also reached the final of the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship, where they lost 4-0 to West Germany in the final. Al Sadd are the most successful sports club in the country, and have won the continental club competition on two separate occasions.
On 2 December 2010, Qatar won their bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, despite never previously qualifying for the FIFA World Cup. Local organizers are planning to build 9 new stadiums and expand 3 existing stadiums for this event. Qatar's winning bid for the 2022 World Cup was greeted enthusiastically in the Persian Gulf region as it was the first time a country in the Middle East had been selected to host the tournament. However, the bid has been embroiled in much controversy, including allegations of bribery and interference in the investigation of the alleged bribery. European football associations have also objected to the 2022 World Cup being held in Qatar for a variety of reasons, from the impact of warm temperatures on players' fitness, to the disruption it might cause in European domestic league calendars should the event be rescheduled to take place during winter. In May 2014, Qatari football official Mohammed bin Hammam was accused of making payments totalling £3m to officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid. However, a FIFA inquiry into the bidding process in November 2014 cleared Qatar of any wrongdoing. The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper, produced a short documentary named "Abuse and exploitation of migrant workers preparing emirate for 2022". A 2014 investigation by The Guardian reports that migrant workers who have been constructing luxurious offices for the organizers of the 2022 World Cup have not been paid in over a year, and are now "working illegally from cockroach-infested lodgings." The Qatar 2022 organising committee have responded to various allegations by claiming that hosting the World Cup in Qatar would act as a "catalyst for change" in the region.
During December 2011 Qatar was by the first time the AFC Futsal West Asia Champion winning 3-2 in the final against Kuwait. The coach is the Portuguese Francisco Baptista. Not long later they lost 8-0 in the official AFC Futsal Championship from Iran but with the new coach Abdelila Benaim.
Qatar Racing Club, a drag racing facility where the Arabian Drag Racing League competes, is located in the country's capital. Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani is involved in the sport and is the owner of Al-Anabi Racing. In 2009, he brought his racing company to the United States as a team competing in National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) competitions with the help of 11 time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world champion, Alan Johnson, who serves as the team manager. Al-Anabi Racing Team has won the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series three times in the last four years. Larry Dixon won the title in 2010, Del Worsham won it in 2011, and Shawn Langdon won the World Championship in 2013. Langdon remains with the team as the driver of the silver Al-Anabi team and is teammates with Khalid Al Balooshi, who drives the gold Al-Anabi Top Fuel dragster. Al Balooshi, a native of Dubai, UAE, is the first driver of Middle Eastern descent to compete in a major United States motorsports series. The team's races are televised internationally on ESPN. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series comprises 24 national events in 21 markets throughout the United States.
Major sport events in Qatar
- 2004 - Asian Handball Championships - hosted
- 2004 - ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships - hosted
- 2005 - Asian Basketball Championships - hosted
- 2005 - World Weightlifting Championships - hosted
- 2005 - West Asian Games - hosted
- 2006 - Asian Sailing Championships - hosted
- 2006 - Asian Games - hosted
- 2008 - Asian Indoor Athletics Championships - hosted
- 2008 - Asian Youth Wrestling Championships - hosted
- 2008 - Asian Optimist Sailing Championships - hosted
- 2009 - Asian Fencing Championships - hosted
- 2009 - FIVB Club World Championships - hosted
- 2009 - ISF World Gymnasiade - hosted
- 2010 - IAAF World Indoor Championships - hosted
- 2010 - ISAF World Junior 470 Sailing C’ships - hosted
- 2011 - Asian Football Cup - hosted
- 2011 - Arab Games - hosted
- 2012 - Asian Shooting Championships - hosted
- 2014 - FINA Short Course World Championships - hosted
- 2015 - IHF Handball World Championships - hosted
- 2015 - Doha 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships
- 2015 - World Amateur Boxing Championships
- 2015 - World Robot Olympiad
- 2016 - UCI Road Cycling World Championships
- 2018 - FIG Artistic World Gymnastics Championships
- 2019 - IAAF World Championships
- 2021 - FIFA Confederations Cup
- 2022 - FIFA World Cup (pending due to FIFA investigation)
- since 1993 - ATP Tennis Tournament doha
- since 1998 - Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
- since 2004 - FIM Moto Racing World Championships
- since 2008 - FEI Equestrian Global Champions Tour
- since 2008 - WTA Tour Tennis Championships
- since 2010 - IAAF Diamond League
- since 2010 - IHF Handball Super Globe
- since 2010 - FIVB Club World Championships
- 2020 - Olympic Games
- "Sports chapter (2013)". Qatar Statistics Authority. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- "List of Champions". Gulf Cup. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
- Paul Radford (2 December 2010). "Russia, Qatar win 2018 and 2022 World Cups". Reuters. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
- "Europe's Top Leagues protest against 2022 winter World Cup in Qatar". Qatar Chronicle. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "Fifa wants Qatar 2022 postponed to Winter". Qatar Chronicle. 20 July 2013. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- "BBC Sport – Qatar World Cup: '£3m payments to officials' corruption claim". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
- "World Cup inquiry clears Qatar but criticises English FA". BBC. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- Pattisson, Pete (25 September 2013). "Revealed: Qatar's World Cup 'slaves'". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
So entrenched is this exploitation that the Nepalese ambassador to Qatar, Maya Kumari Sharma, recently described the emirate as an "open jail".
- Booth, Robert; Pattisson, Pete (28 July 2014). "Qatar World Cup: migrants wait a year to be paid for building offices". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- Gibson, Owen (14 June 2014). "Qatar hits back at allegations of bribery over 2022 World Cup". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "Facts and Figures - Commercial Bank Qatar Masters". EuropeanTour.com. The PGA European Tour. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- Futterman, Futterman (22 April 2009). "Drag Racing's Patron Sheik". Wallstreet Journal. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
- "WRO 2015 in Doha, Qatar". World Robot Oylmpiad. Retrieved 12 March 2015.