Qatar Football AssociationNews
10.06.2015 7:36 in :

DOHA: The National Stadium in Male in June will be the venue of Qatar’s eagerly-awaited campaign to reach the finals of a FIFA World Cup edition.

Home side Maldives will welcome Qatar – now coached by Jose Daniel Carreno – for the game on June 11 in what will be the first clash for the two sides in Group C of the Asian Zone qualifiers.

The other sides in Group C include China, Bhutan and Hong Kong with all teams playing each other on home and away basis over the course of the next nine months.

The Asian qualifying in Group C kicks off on June 11 this year and the preliminary round ends in 2016 with a game involving hosts Maldives and visitors Bhutan on March 29.

For Qatar, who have never reached the World Cup finals, the road to Russia begins with a new coach.

Carreno, who was roped in as the man to replace Djamel Belmadi at the stat of May, has since taken the squad to England for warm-up games ahead of the first World Cup qualifying game against the Maldives.

Friendlies against Ireland and Scotland at the end of May and in the first week of June respectively set things in motion for Carreno’s boys aiming to go better than they did in the race to reach Brazil last year.

Carreno, the 52-year-old Uruguayan, has inside knowledge about Qatar football having coached Qatar Stars League (QSL) outfit Al Arabi.

The first Group C game against Maldives will be followed by their second qualifier against Bhutan who visit Doha for the match on September 3 at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Soon after playing their game at air-conditioned Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Carreno-coached Qatar will fly out to Hong Kong for their third qualifying game at Mongkok Stadium on September 8.

Exactly a month later, Qatar will brace to host China for their third 2018 World Cup qualifier at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium on October 8.

Maldives will also visit Doha in the same week for their return clash on October 13 at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Qatar’s iconic football venue.

A little over a month later, Bhutan will welcome Qatar for their home game on November 17 at Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu.

The game against Bhutan in November this year will be followed by a gap of four months.

In March 2016, Qatar will welcome Hong Kong for the return game between the two sides. The game will be played on March 24 at Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium.

Five days later, Qatar will visit hosts China for their return game on March 29 at Shanxi Stadium, Xi’an.

After missing the bus to Brazil last year, Carreno’s boys have a task at hand – to help Qatar reach their first ever World Cup finals since they started featuring in qualifying matches for the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

In the qualifying campaign for Brazil 2014, Qatar played 14 games for five wins.

For the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, Qatar played a total of 16 games for six wins.

Hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar will be hoping to excel in the

next eight qualifying games over the course of nine months to reach the next phase in their Russia campaign.

The 2018 qualifying games have added importance as results will deemed official for teams aiming to reach the 2019 Asian Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates.

With striker Khalfan Ibrahim, forward Hassan Al Haydos and midfielder Ibrahim Magid hitting peak form in their young careers, Qatar can hope for a better show in the preliminary phase beginning June 11.

Group C

China, Qatar, Maldives, Bhutan, Hong Kong


Kick-off time: 21:00

Maldives vs Qatar,

Venue: National Stadium, Male


Kick-off time: 19:00

Qatar vs Bhutan,

Venue: Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha


Kick-off time: 20:00

Hong Kong vs Qatar

Venue: Mongkok Stadium, Hong Kong


Kick-off time: 18:30

Qatar vs China

Venue: Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha


Kick-off time: 18:30

Qatar vs Maldives

Venue: Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha


Kick-off time: 16:00

Bhutan vs Qatar

Venue: Changlimithang Stadium, Thimphu


Kick-off time: 19:00

Qatar vs Hong Kong,

Venue: Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium, Doha


Kick-off time: 19:35

China vs Qatar,

Venue: Shanxi Stadium, Xi’an