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The Qatar national football team is the national team of Qatarmarker and is controlled by the Qatar Football Association. Despite an estimated citizen population of only 600,000, Qatar remains one of Asian football's enigmas, particularly at the youth level.

History and overview

Football was brought to Qatar in the 1940s and 50s by oil workers. Soon after the formation of the Qatar Football Association in 1970, the national team played its first match against Bahrainmarker. Qatar has long been the continent's under-achievers, and the fact remains that they have rarely made it past the group stage in continental championships and have never represented Asia in a FIFA World Cup. However, the tiny Persian Gulf country, where the foreign working forces outnumber the local inhabitants, has been an unpredictable quantity, especially in youth competitions. They advanced to the final of the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship, losing to the then West Germany. They qualified for the FIFAmarker event after finishing second in the AFC Youth Championship, losing to Korea Republicmarker in the final.Then again, in 1990, Qatar finished fourth in the FIFA U-17 World Cup and prior to qualifying for the championship, finished as champions in the AFC U-17 Championship in the same year.

In the AFC U-17 Championship, Qatar finished as runner-up at least five times in 1984, 1986, 1992, 1994 and 1998.

At the senior level, Qatar had won the Gulf Cup twice in 2004 and 1992. On both these occasions, Qatar was the host. The national senior team has also qualified for the Asian Cup finals, at least eight times in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2007.

Qatar made their name as the darkest horses in the Asian Zone's final qualifying round for France 1998 when they beat the likes of China and Iran to enter the last match against Saudi Arabia needing just a point to book an automatic qualifying place. However, just one match away from their first-ever place at the FIFA World Cup, they lost out as the Saudis went through 1–0.

They made it to the final qualifying round again four years later, but were totally outpaced by Bora Milutinovic's China team, who topped the section to progress to their first FIFA World Cup. Frenchman Philippe Troussier took the reins after Korea–Japan 2002 and he injected some new blood into the side. Understandably, it took time for the inexperienced new-look team to develop into a winning unit, with failures coming in both the 2004 Asian Cup and the qualifying campaign for Germany 2006.

Though Troussier was sacked after the disappointing World Cup-qualifying campaign, the team that he formed was to be the backbone of the team that won the Gulf Cup in 2004 and the Asian Games gold in 2006 under the guidance of Dzemaluddin Musovic.

Bosnian Musovic stepped down in the wake of Qatar's disappointing campaign in the recent AFC Asian Cup 2007, where they crashed out after the group stage with two points from three matches. The job of coaching the under-performing team then fell to Uruguayanmarker Jorge Fossati. His task was to lead the team to 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, but Qatar finished fourth in their qualifying group and missed out.

In order to sustain their success, the Qataris have once again turned their attention to youth development, particularly through the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellencemarker which was launched in September 2004.

World Cup record

2010 World Cup Quallifying

Round 1

Team 1 Agg Team 2 Leg 1 Leg 2
6-0 1-0 5-0

Round 3

Group 1

Round 4

Group B

Asian Cup record

Gulf Cup of Nations Record

Best result :2 times Champions (1992,2004)

  • 2009 - Semi Finals

West Asian Football Federation Championship

  • 2008 - Semi-Finalist

Current squad

The following players were called up for the Paraguay and Belgium friendly matches on November 13 and November 17, 2009.

Recent call-ups


External links

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