Qatar national football team

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Qatar
Nickname(s) Al-Annabi (The Maroons) (العنابي), Al-Ad'am (الادعم)
Association Qatar Football Association
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation WAFF (West Asia)
Head coach Félix Sánchez Bas
Captain Hassan Al-Haydos[1]
Most caps Sebastian Soria (123)
Top scorer Sebastian Soria (40)
FIFA code QAT
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 98 Steady (16 August 2018)
Highest 51 (August 1993, October 1993)
Lowest 113 (November 2010)
Elo ranking
Current 85 Steady (20 August 2018)
Highest 51 (September 2001)
Lowest 135 (April 1975)
First international
 Bahrain 2–1 Qatar Qatar
(Bahrain; 27 March 1970)
Biggest win
Qatar Qatar 15–0 Bhutan 
(Doha, Qatar; 3 September 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Kuwait 9–0 Qatar Qatar
(Kuwait; 8 January 1973)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (first in 2022)
Asian Cup
Appearances 10 (first in 1980)
Best result Quarter-finals, 2000 and 2011
Copa América
Appearances 1 (first in 2019)

The Qatar national football team (Arabic: منتخب قطر لكرة القدم‎) is the national team of Qatar and is overseen by the Qatar Football Association. The team has appeared in nine Asian Cup tournaments and Qatar also hosted the 2011 Asian Cup. They play their home games at Khalifa International Stadium and Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium. The latter is the home stadium for the team.[2]

Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and therefore qualify automatically for what will be their first appearance in the finals. This will be the first time the host nation has never previously competed at the World Cup since 1934 and the first time that an Arab nation will host the competition.

Honours[edit]

Winners (3): 1992, 2004, 2014
Winners (1): 2014
Winners (1): 2006

Minor[edit]

Winners (1): 2018

Overview[edit]

Pre–1970[edit]

Football was brought to Qatar during a time which coincided with initial discovery of oil reserves in Dukhan in 1940.[3] By 1948, expatriate oil workers played the first official football match in Qatar. The Qatar Football Association was formed in 1960, and the QFA joined FIFA in 1970.[4] Simultaneously during this period, the Bahrain Football Association were drawing up plans for the establishment of a regional football competition within the GCC and Qatari officials were involved with the corroboration of this proposal.[5] The plans came to fruition and in March 1970 the Arabian Gulf Cup was inaugurated.

1970–1980[edit]

The Qatar national team played its first official match on March 27, 1970 against hosts Bahrain, losing 1–2 as Mubarak Faraj scored the sole goal for Qatar.[6] The newly formed Qatar national team posted underwhelming results in the first Gulf Cup tournament, coming in last place with a single point, with the highlight of their tournament being a 1–1 draw with the Saudis in their final match.[7]

In the next edition of the Gulf Cup in 1972, Qatar was again relegated to last place after suffering 3 straight defeats.[8] The next tournament in 1974 proved to be somewhat of a break-through for the Qataris as they achieved their first triumph in international football with a 4–0 victory over Oman. The Qataris lost out to Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals, but achieved a 3rd place standing after emerging the victors of a penalty shoot-out against the United Arab Emirates.[9]

The first time they entered the qualifying stages for the AFC Asian Cup was in 1975. They were not successful in qualifying for the 1976 Asian Cup, with Iraq and Saudi Arabia booking the group's two qualifying berths. Despite this setback, Qatar finished in 3rd place in the 1976 Gulf Cup as the host nation the next year.[10]

The national team played its first FIFA World Cup qualifying match in 1977. Qatar was set to play the United Arab Emirates on 11 March 1977, but the last minute withdrawal of the Emirati team from the competition merely postponed Qatar's debut until two days later when Bahrain were defeated 2–0 in Doha.[11]

1980–1990[edit]

Their Asian Cup debut came in 1980 under the legendary head coach Evaristo de Macedo. They had qualified for the tournament after topping a relatively easy group composing of Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Their showing in the main tournament was unimpressive, making an early exit from the group stages with two defeats, one draw and one win.[12]

Qatar narrowly lost to Iraq in the finals of the 1984 Gulf Cup, nonetheless they were named runners-up, their most impressive accolade until 1992.[13]

They failed to make it out of the preliminary stages of the 1982 and 1986 World Cup qualifying rounds. However, the team qualified for both the 1984 and 1988 editions of the Asian Cup. They fell short of qualifying for the semi-finals of the 1984 tournament, with Saudi Arabia's Mohaisen Al-Jam'an's 88th-minute goal against Kuwait ensuring a semi-final position for both teams. They also missed out on a semi-final place in 1988; however, they notably defeated Japan by a score of 3–0.[14]

1990–2000[edit]

Qatar arguably reached its peak in the 1990s, attaining its highest-ever FIFA rating (53) in August 1993.[15] Qatar started off with an emphatic qualifying campaign for the 1990 World Cup, finishing at the top of their group. They were denied a spot in the World Cup after finishing below the United Arab Emirates and South Korea in the final round of the qualifiers.

In 1990, the national team once again finished runners-up in the Gulf Cup as Kuwait won the final two matches of the tournament.[16] Two years later, they won the competition on home soil for the first time under the leadership of Sebastião Lapola, despite a 1–0 loss against Saudi Arabia in their final game.[17] They were also named runners-up in the 1996 Gulf Cup.

Qatar reached the Asian Zone's final qualifying round for France 1998. After wins against China and Iran, they played their last match against Saudi Arabia, where a victory would have earned qualification. However, they lost out as Saudi Arabia won 1–0 to reach the finals.

As 1998 Arab Nations Cup hosts, they finished runners-up to Saudi Arabia.[18]

2000–2010[edit]

They made it to the quarter-finals of the 2000 Asian Cup despite finishing 3rd in their group, but lost to China in their quarter-final confrontation.[19]

They reached the final qualifying round again in 2001, but were defeated by Bora Milutinovic's China team, who topped the section to progress to their first FIFA World Cup. Frenchman Philippe Troussier took the manager's job after the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, but was unsuccessful in both the 2004 Asian Cup and the qualifying campaign for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Troussier was sacked after the World Cup qualifying campaign, and under Bosnian Džemaludin Mušović, the team won the Gulf Cup in 2004 and the Asian Games gold in 2006. Mušović stepped down after Qatar only earned two points from three matches in the 2007 Asian Cup.

The job of coaching the team in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup fell to Jorge Fossati, who led the team throughout the first and second AFC rounds up to the third round. After leaving them at the top of their group with only two played matches, Fossati had to undergo stomach surgery. Subsequently, the Qatar Football Association ended their co-operation with him in September 2008, as the QFA claimed he needed too long to recover from surgery.[20] Bruno Metsu was called up for the job, but Qatar failed to qualify after finishing fourth in their qualifying group.

2010–present[edit]

Qatar national team in 2011 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds.

Qatar was announced as hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in December 2010.[21]

In 2011, as hosts of the 2011 Asian Cup, they advanced to the quarter-finals. They succumbed to a late 2–3 defeat to eventual champions Japan after a goal was scored by Masahiko Inoha in the 89th minute.

Also as hosts, they went on to win the 2014 WAFF Championship after defeating Jordan 2–0 in the final. The competition was made up primarily of youth and reserve teams, of which Qatar's was the latter.[22] Djamel Belmadi, the head coach of the B team, replaced Fahad Thani as the head coach of the senior team as a result of the team's positive performances. 10 months later, Djamel Belmadi led Qatar to gold in the 2014 Gulf Cup. They advanced from the group stages after three draws, going on to defeat Oman 3–1 in the semi-final, and were victorious in the final against Saudi Arabia, who were playing in front of a home crowd, by a margin of 2–1.[23]

Despite winning the Gulf Cup and finishing the year 2014 with only one defeat, Qatar showed a poor form in the 2015 Asian Cup. Qatar was defeated 1–4 by the United Arab Emirates in their opener. This was continued with a 0–1 loss to Iran and 1–2 to Bahrain. Qatar was eliminated in the group stages with no points and placed 4th in Group C.

Qatar's current campaign in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia has been a surprise. Their start in the second round of World Cup qualifying in the AFC was nearly perfect, with seven wins and only one loss. However, their success in the second round has not followed them to the third round. Qatar finished bottom of their group, ensuring they will play their first World Cup match on home soil in 2022, first team to do so since Italy in 1934.

Qatar continued its poor form in the 2017 Gulf Cup, which was hosted by Kuwait. Qatar won easily their opening game of the tournament 4–0 against a weak Yemen, but that was followed by a 1–2 loss to Iraq and an unconvincing 1–1 draw to Bahrain. Qatar took the third place in Group B with four points and was eliminated in the group stage of the competition, which was considered as an upset of the tournament especially after winning the 2014 edition.

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup qualification
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 to Mexico 1970 Did not enter Did not enter
West Germany 1974 Withdrew from Qualifiers Withdrew from Qualifiers
Argentina 1978 Did not qualify 4 1 0 3 3 9
Spain 1982 4 2 0 2 5 3
Mexico 1986 4 2 0 2 6 3
Italy 1990 11 4 6 1 12 8
United States 1994 8 5 1 2 22 8
France 1998 11 6 1 4 21 10
South Korea Japan 2002 14 7 4 3 24 13
Germany 2006 6 3 0 3 16 8
South Africa 2010 16 6 4 6 16 20
Brazil 2014 14 5 5 4 18 14
Russia 2018 16 9 1 6 35 14
Qatar 2022 Qualified as hosts Qualified as hosts
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Total - 1/21 - - - - - - 108 50 22 36 178 110

FIFA Confederations Cup[edit]

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad
Saudi Arabia 1992 Did not qualify
Saudi Arabia 1995
Saudi Arabia 1997
Mexico 1999
South Korea Japan 2001
France 2003
Germany 2005
South Africa 2009
Brazil 2013
Russia 2017

Asian Cup[edit]

AFC Asian Cup AFC Asian Cup qualification
Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
Hong Kong 1956 to Thailand 1972 Did not enter Did not enter
Iran 1976 Did not qualify 6 2 1 3 5 8
Kuwait 1980 8th 4 1 1 2 3 8 4 3 1 0 10 2
Singapore 1984 5th 4 1 2 1 3 3 4 3 0 1 11 1
Qatar 1988 5th 4 2 0 2 7 6 Qualified as hosts
Japan 1992 6th 3 0 2 1 3 4 2 2 0 0 8 2
United Arab Emirates 1996 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 5 4
Lebanon 2000 8th 4 0 3 1 3 5 4 3 1 0 11 3
China 2004 14th 3 0 1 2 2 4 6 3 2 1 10 7
Indonesia Malaysia Thailand Vietnam 2007 14th 3 0 2 1 3 4 6 5 0 1 14 4
Qatar 2011 7th 4 2 0 2 7 4 Qualified as hosts
Australia 2015 13th 3 0 0 3 2 7 6 4 1 1 13 2
United Arab Emirates 2019 Qualified - - - - - - 8 7 0 1 29 4
Total Best: QF 32 6 11 15 33 46 50 34 6 10 116 36

Asian Games[edit]

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
Asian Games record
Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA
India 1951 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Philippines 1954 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 1958 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Indonesia 1962 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1966 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1970 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Iran 1974 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Thailand 1978 11th place 3 0 1 2 3 7
India 1982 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Korea 1986 13th place 3 0 2 1 2 3
China 1990 Did not enter 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 1994 13th place 3 0 3 0 5 5
Thailand 1998 5th place 6 4 1 1 9 4
2002–present See Qatar national under-23 football team
Total 4/13 15 4 7 4 19 19

Olympic Games[edit]

Since 1992, the Olympic team has been drawn from a squad with a maximum of three players over 23 years age, and the achievements of this team are not generally regarded as part of the national team's records, nor are the statistics credited to the players' international records.