Qatar Football AssociationNational Teams | First Team
21.02.2019 9:54 in :

Doha: Hassan Al Haydous and his teammates most of them in traditional Qatari attire, were basking in glory as they posed for pictures, took selfies themselves and signed on Al Annabi shirts at a Qatar Football Association function where a host of companies reiterated their support for Qatari football and its champions.

It’s been almost three weeks since Qatar defeated Japan 3-1 in the final of the AFC Asian Cup to lift the glittering trophy, but the euphoria and confetti of that fairytale win have not yet settled.

Qatar wanted to show the world that they could match the best of Asia, but in the UAE they were just a class apart throughout and coach Felix Sanchez said he was proud of his players.

“I think winning this tournament and the way we did it, and now the world knows that Qatar has a football team,” said Sanchez.

“And it’s good for the players, team, the country that people realise that there is a team that can compete.

“We are very happy to make the people of this country happy. We have a good team where a lot of players have been playing together for a while. They make a good group, a strong group,” said Sanchez who emphasised on their team spirit which guided them through seven tough matches in the UAE.

“I think the key to their win was the commitment they have. They want to do things together and they work hard,” said the Spaniard

However, the journey has only begun for the team.

The 2022 World Cup hosts will head to Brazil, the spiritual home of football, for the Copa America in June where they are pitted alongside Lionel Messi’s Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay.

“I’m very excited about Copa America, it’s a big tournament a big challenge and a necessary experience for the player to arrive at the tournament.

However, the journey has only begun for the Felix Sanchez-coached side.

The 2022 World Cup hosts will head to Brazil, the spiritual home of football, for the Copa America in June where they are pitted alongside Lionel Messi’s Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay.

Sanchez said they need to play a few friendlies with South American sides before the tournament.

“We need to finalise the preparations but sure we need to play a couple of games with teams like Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and the USA,” said Sanchez.

“We prepare a list of potential teams that we would like to play against but also we need to see their availability.”

Meanwhile, QFA President Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani thanked the companies — Sea Shore Group, Qatar Airways, Fifty One East, Qatar Building Company, Abdullah Abdulghani and Bros , Seib Insurance, Ali Bin Saoud Al Thani, Faleh Bin Saoud Al Thani and Al Majed Jewellery — for their gesture and also presented them a Qatar shirt signed by the whole team.

However, he also expressed surprise at the absence of some companies, which have been supporting Qatar football.

“QNB and Ooredoo are not present here and though it is not good to say it at such an occasion, it is the truth,” said Sheikh Hamad, who confirmed that Qatar would play friendlies against South American teams.

“It will be from South America, we will announce it as soon as possible,” he said.

Vice-president of Qatar and Asian Football Confederation Saud Al Mohannadi, QFA Board members Hani Ballan who is also the CEO of Qatar Stars League, another Board Member Ahmed Al Bouanain, Secretary General Mansour Al Ansari and other dignitaries also attended the function.