Fourth edition of Qatargas U-23 League set to kick off
Doha: The Qatar Football Association has announced the launch of the fourth edition of the Qatargas U-23 League for the 2020 – 2021 season. The tournament has been organised over the past few years as a result of the fruitful and exemplary partnership between Qatargas and the Qatar Football Association, which has witnessed the implementation of many successful activities and projects.
The 2020 – 2021 Qatargas U-23 League is all set to kick off on Thursday, 22nd October 2020, with 12 clubs from the first division participating in this year’s edition: Al-Ahli, Al-Sadd, Al-Rayyan, Al-Duhail, Al-Arabi, Al-Gharafa, Qatar SC, Umm Salal, Al-Khor, Al-Sailiya, Al-Wakra, and Al-Kharaitiyat.
The matches will be shown on Al-Kass TV, the official broadcaster of the competition, with excellent all-round coverage, as in the past editions. The channel will produce a special programme that covers all aspects and notable incidents from the league, with a focus on interviews with players, coaches and other officials from the clubs.
Al-Duhail come into this year’s competition as the title holder for all the previous three editions, ever since the tournament was held under its new name. The crowning of the third edition, in the 2019 – 2020 season, came after the Qatar Football Association decided to end the Qatargas U-23 League competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In accordance with Article 81 of the Qatar Football Association’s statutes – ‘Emergency conditions and force majeure’ – all sporting activities were suspended as part of the country’s precautionary efforts and measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Taking into account only the games played up to that point, the existing points table was adopted to decide the final ranking, which was as follows:
First place: Al-Duhail Club
Second place: Al Khor Club
Third place: Al-Arabi Club
On the occasion of the launch of the fourth edition of the competition, Mr. Khaled Mubarak Al-Kuwari, Director of Marketing and Communications at Qatar Football Association, said: “The Qatar Football Association and Qatargas have been linked by a strong relationship that has spanned many years, and this tournament is one of the fruits of this unique partnership. The Qatargas U-23 League has been the recipient of a great sponsorship, which shows the depth of the relationship between the Qatar Football Association and Qatar Gas, a regular partner of the various tournaments organised by the QFA.
He added: “The presence of a company such as Qatargas, the leading company in the LNG industry in the world, among the main sponsors of the QFA is of huge significance, and we hope to continue for many more years, in line with the QFA’s Vision 2021.
Preparations for the launch of the new season of the Qatargas U-23 League began at the end of last season, when a comprehensive marketing and media plan was drawn up, in coordination with our partners in Qatargas and Al-Kass TV, to present this tournament in an ideal way in all aspects. I want to use this opportunity to thank Al-Kass TV for its great effort and fruitful partnership with the QFA in all tournaments”.
He further explained: “This season will be the last of the Qatargas U-23 League competition, after the Executive Committee of the Qatar Football Association decided to hold the 2020-21 season as the final edition and to organise the reserve league in its place, starting from 2021-2020.
Without a doubt, over the past few years, the Qatargas U-23 League has witnessed more opportunities for Qatari U-23 players to play football in a competitive atmosphere. This has benefited them and these players were able to support the first team in their clubs, and then the national teams as well. I wish success to all the clubs and players. The opportunity is ripe for them to prove their skills and abilities, and offer great performances”.
Mr. Ali Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, Public Relations Manager at Qatargas, said: “Qatargas is honored to be part of the premier U-23 league through our corporate sponsorship. We join in the excitement this competitive sport brings to its large following of fans. The support we offer the league is our way to leverage a popular sport to bring people together, encourage a healthy and competitive spirit among our nation’s youth, and help fulfil the ambition of our National Vision 2030. Qatargas is proud to join the Qatar Football Association in supporting our fast growing talent pool of gifted football athletes, especially as the country is getting ready to host the World Cup in 2022. We wish all the participating sport clubs an exciting season and a thrilling tournament”.
The Round 1 matches of the 2020 – 2021 Qatargas League will be held on Thursday and Friday, 22nd – 23rd October 2020. On the first day, Umm Salal will play against Al Wakrah at Al Sailiya Stadium, while Al Sadd will face off with Al Duhail at the Grand Hamad Stadium, and finally, Qatar SC will play against Al Rayyan at Al Khor Stadium.
During the first phase of the Qatargas League, 66 matches will be played over 11 rounds.
The Qatargas U-23 League one of the new additions to the list of QFA competitions, having started with the 2017-2018 season. The competition is played according to the double round-robin system, and the final ranking of the clubs is determined according to the total number of points at the end of the competition, with the team that gets the most points crowned as champions.