President of Qatar Football Association (QFA) Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani has said that Qatar looks forward to welcoming 22 Arab national teams and their fans in the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, and giving them the opportunity to be one of the select teams that will experience what Qatar has prepared to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Sheikh Hamad said that the FIFA Arab Cup will give Qatar national team the chance to enhance their preparations ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, by going up against some of the best teams in the region.
He underlined that fans from across the region will be treated to the same world-class experience that awaits fans from around the world when they flock to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
“We welcome our friends from the Middle East and the Arab world to join us in what will be an important milestone and a final test of our preparations, only one year away from us hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the region,” he said.
The tournament will be delivered by FIFA, the Qatar Football Association and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. Seen as a vital opportunity to test operations and facilities ahead of Qatar 2022, the tournament will take place in the same timeslot as the FIFA World Cup.
The finals of both the FIFA Arab Cup and FIFA World Cup will take place exactly one year apart - each on December 18, Qatar National Day.
The 22 participating teams are: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
In June, Qatar Football Association and FIFA announced plans to organize a pan-Arab tournament in Doha, with the competition acting as a crucial preparatory event for the FIFA World Cup 2022, that kicks off on November 21, 2022.