Playing Copa America a huge challenge: Sanchez
DOHA: Playing next month’s Copa America will be a huge challenge for Qatar’s young football squad, coach Felix Sanchez said on Tuesday.
Qatar will play against Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay in Group B matches at the top South American football event to be held from June 14-July 7.
“It will be a huge challenge for Qatar but my players are confident to giving their best,” Sanchez said on Tuesday.
“We have started our training,” he added.
“After the Asian Cup, last week we have started preparing with available bunch of players. Some (club) players are still playing the Amir Cup matches and the AFC Champions League games. The ones not playing in these events have joined us at the camp. The rest will join us soon,” Sanchez said.
“It will be a short training camp before we will travel to US for some days and then to Brazil. We play Brazil on the fifth. That will be our first game on the Brazil trip. Then on 9th, we will play a club game against a Brazil side. It will be a time for us to test players. We are happy to play this fixture. On the 16th of June, we will start our Copa campaign,” he added.
“We are happy what we did in the Asian Cup. We are proud to see Qatar fans were so happy. Theirs was a big support which helps us to be better. But we are appearing in Copa America for the first time. We are not used to playing against South American sides,” he added.
When asked about the possible players line-up, Sanchez said: “We have to submit a list of 40 players. At the end of the month, we have to submit 23 players. There are a few players who are injured. We have to wait on their fitness updates. When it is a long season, it is normal to see players get injured.”
When asked about expectations from their debut at Copa America, he said: “To talk about possible results is not easy. We don’t know which players will be available. We have to see which level we arrive at. Let’s see how long we compete for. We have three very tough opponents who also want to go forward in Copa America. After this competition, we will be a better team after facing big teams.”
Sanchez thanked QFA for ‘support’.
“I am thankful to QFA for their confidence and the trust they have show in me and my team. It was the main priority to continue to keep working here as there are big challenges. There’s a lot for work to do here. We are going to keep working. We want to keep trying to give good results to our fans,” Sanchez said.