Qatari legend Al Haydos speaks about importance of AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024

Qatari legend Al Haydos speaks about importance of AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024

Alkass Digital

With the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 underway, Qatar’s legendary captain Hassan Al Haydos spoke about the importance of youth tournaments in the development of football talent.

The talismanic striker made his mark on Qatar’s football scene when he debuted for Qatar’s U23 side in 2007, scoring a goal off the bench.

“Youth tournaments are where players get a real sense of what it means to play for their country. Competitions like the under-23 Asian Cup are critical to a player’s growth. Young players are challenged to play at a higher level, implement new tactics and push themselves to achieve something for their country,” said Al Haydos, who recently retired from international football after a career that saw him lift the AFC Asian Cup twice.

The AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 will see 16 of the best under-23 teams compete for the 6th edition of the tournament.

The top three teams will qualify automatically to the 2024 Summer Olympics, while the fourth-place team will take on an African team for a coveted spot at the Paris games.

“It was a dream of mine to represent Qatar at the Olympics. Sadly, I never qualified but I hope that this team will be able to make the most out of the tournament being played on home soil and book a spot for Paris. It’s a dream for any player to represent their country at the Olympic games,” added Al Haydos, who continues to play for Qatar Stars League side Al Sadd SC.

Recently, Al Haydos led Qatar to a second consecutive AFC Asian Cup, bring an illustrious international career to an end. The talismanic played a total of 183 matches for the national team, scoring 41 goals along the way. Most notably, Al Haydos played for Qatar in front of a home crowd during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

“The legacy of Qatar 2022 will be felt for generations to come. It goes beyond the world-class infrastructure that was built ahead of the tournament. The World Cup in Qatar fundamentally changed the way people viewed the region and corrected many of the misconceptions about the Middle East and Arab world,” said Al Haydos.

He added: “For us players, the World Cup empowered us to play at a higher level, to demand more from ourselves, and to do more for our national team. I am sure this is something that is felt with younger players as well.”

This will be the first time that the AFC U23 Asian Cup will be played on FIFA World Cup stadiums. Al Janoub and Khalifa International stadiums, both Qatar 2022 venues, will be joined by Jassim Bin Hamad and Abdullah Bin Khalifa stadiums in hosting 32 matches over 19 days.

“Throughout my career, fans have always been a critical part of my success. Having good support in the stands is at times more important than the coach, or the players themselves. I really hope that our fans go out to matches and get behind our team on their way to the Olympics,” added Al Haydos.

Drawn alongside hosts Qatar in Group A are Australia, Jordan and Indonesia, while Group B will bring together Japan, Korea Republic, United Arab Emirates and China PR.

Group C contains title holders Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Thailand and Tajikistan, with Group D containing Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Kuwait and Malaysia.

Prices for group stage match tickets start at 15 QAR and can be purchased online through the Hayya to Qatar mobile app.

Spectators from outside Qatar can also purchase tickets from the same platform.

Disabled spectators can apply to purchase accessible tickets through

For more information about the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024, follow @Qatar2023 on Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and X, formerly known as Twitter.