Qatar Football Association
|President||Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al-Thani|
The advent of football at Qatar dates back to the year of 1946, accompanied by the arrival of oil companies. The new game's popularity expanded immediately, which led to the establishment of Al Najah as the country’s first football club in 1950.
The athletic union
These ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of the first governing body in Qatari sport "the athletic union" headed by Sheikh Suhaim bin Hamad alongside Hitmi Al Hitmi, Majed bin Saad, and Khalifa Al Mutawah.
However, this committee lasted only for a few months, due to the resignation of its members.
Unlike nowadays, the organization of football lacked competence and experience. So matches were arranged by oral agreement or by simply writing a letter, conventionally, bringing a cup was the responsibility of the team that called for the match in the first place.
First football tournament
Under the supervision of Qatar Oil Company, the first football tournament ever in Qatar was held at the city of Dukhan. Despite the participation of several Doha teams – including Al Najah – host team Dukhan managed to win the 1951 Izzadeen tournament.
Qatar Oil Company replaced the old competition with a new one, Pukett Cup kicked off during the 1957 season, Al Najah went on to win the cup for the first time in their history.
Whether locally or regionally, rules and regulations were not very restrictive about players moving from one club to another, just a resignation letter and 10 Indian rupees were required of the player who wished to move. This undemanding system was in effect until the year 1962.
Qatari clubs were booming with foreign players throughout the 1950s until the 1970s, players from Sudan, Egypt, Somalia, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and Ethiopia enriched Qatari football and played an enormous role in spreading the game among local fans.
Contracts were not signed to recruit foreign players; instead, they were employed in governmental administrations or private companies.
The Qatar Football Association was formed in 1970 to govern football in Qatar. The Association organized the first Qatar League in 1972-73.
The Qatari Football Association has been criticized for hiring migrant workers to fill their empty stadiums in the Qatar Stars League, paying them one dollar an hour to "sit in the stadiums and pretend to have fun".
- "AFC BARS ISRAEL FROM ALL ITS COMPETITIONS". Reuters. The Straits Times. 16 September 1974.
- "Qatar hires ‘$8 fake fans’ to fill empty stadiums". rt.com. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Qatar Football Association at the FIFA website.
- Qatar Football Association at AFC site
- Official website Arabic/English