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Hosts Qatar drawn with UAE, Yemen and Iraq

Hosts Qatar drawn with UAE, Yemen and Iraq

Ayeni Olusegun
Doha
Hosts and Asian champions Qatar have been drawn in Group A alongside UAE, Yemen and Iraq for the 24th edition of the Arabian Gulf Cup to be held from November 26 to December 8.
Group B comprises defending champions Oman, Saudi Arabia, record-winners Kuwait and Bahrain.
The draw, hosted by Hamed al Hajri, a member of the Qatar Football Association, was held based on the FIFA rankings of each country while considering the previous winners. It put Qatar in Group A as hosts and the highest ranked Gulf team. Oman on the other hand were ranked (B1) as reigning champions.
Thursday’s rescheduled draw means the tournament has reverted to its original eight teams, two groups format after the inclusion of trio Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE. All matches were previously scheduled to be played at the Khalifa International Stadium in a round-robin format.
“I think it’s a fair draw, and all the teams are involved in the qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup. I hope we will reach a high level of football in this tournament. They are preparing for major tournaments and this is hopefully an advantage for teams to show their talented players, and how important the Gulf Cup is for us.
“Actually it’s better than five teams, and the eight teams will show more performance, and hopefully it will be the best Gulf Cup tournament in terms of performance of players,” Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation General Secretary Jassim al Rumaihi said after the draw.
Al Rumaihi also added that he expects a huge turnout from fans across the region, while tipping the host nation to win.
“I think the crowd will be good, this tournament means a lot to everybody, not just Qataris but the whole Gulf. Hopefully we will see a high turnout from the crowd and high level of performance.
“As a Qatari, it will be great for us to win. We have a very good team and we have always won the Gulf Cup whenever we host the tournament, so we are hoping we can win the title,” he added.
This is the fourth time Qatar will be hosting the tournament. They have won three titles (1992, 2004 and 2014) and are aiming to win their second tournament this year, after winning the Asian Cup 2019 for the first time in their history.
Al Annabi last won the Gulf Cup in 2014, beating Saudi Arabia 2-1 in the final.

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