FOOTBALL Defeated 2-0 at home against Ecuador, Qatar continues its apprenticeship at the highest level. A long-term project almost in opposition to the immediacy in which the emirate is immersed
Qatar takes flight but does not yet have World Cup level — /SIPA
From our envoy; special to Doha,
It is enough to make a little road to agrave; through the desert to realize the importance of construction in the Qatari landscape. Cranes, concrete, buildings under construction, some left unfinished, some finished. The emirate has even managed to to build themselves a world-class football team in just under two decades, although the performance of Felix Sanchez's men at the occasion of the opening match of the 2022 World Cup (2-0 defeat against Ecuador) evokes the bottom of the table of Ligue 2.
To the great regret of the Spaniard, who suspects his players of being left to eat by the stakes. “Maybe the nerves gave us away, we got off to a really bad start. We have been very imprecise technically, we never chained four assists.” Sanchez had the elegance not to mention the hazardous exits of Al Sheeb, the failed checks in midfield and the deep touches in the opposing feet, so many elements. ments that have contributed to the early sinking of Qatar. And embarrass him. By bowing at the entrance facing the its assumed less good adversary, the host mortgages his chances of saving honor in a group that also includes the Netherlands and Senegal. As if all the work done by Sanchez since his arrival at the Aspire Academy in 2006 had only been used for nothing.
Aspire and the Qatari training project
The Aspire Academy has been founded in 2004 to identify and train future Qatari athletes. Sport king in Qatar, football immediately took a privileged place there, so much so that Sanchez, trained in as a coach at la Masia, was able to experiment as much as he wanted in this sports laboratory. He further explains that he took advantage of of the proximity players from the training center to keep up with a rhythm of two daily training sessions, which he’s never seen done in Europe, at the end of the day. maybe going to Barça.
To not get stuck; at the same level, the Spaniard chose to follow his players. In 2013, he took on the Qatar U19s, which he led to the Asian title. A feat he will repeat with the greats in 2019. His team beat Japan in the final by conceding their only goal of the tournament, for 19 entries. The stat is insane, and reflects the guy's game ideas. Xavi: “His style is attacking, obviously, but he can adapt if he doesn’t have the ball. Defensively, he works well.
No naturalizations like handball
He works well, period. Anyway, there was no other way to take this small country to the international level. The administrative path that led to Qatar in the final of its Handball World Cup in 2015 – won by the Experts – was not valid in football. FIFA has many faults, but we can recognize that it knows how to supervise the naturalization process. We do not change nationality. athletic in 3 years as in handball, and even less after having already worn the jersey of another nation. Thus, only four of the 2019 Asian champions have been naturalized.
And if the country ended up resolving to also bet on the children of immigrants in Because of poor demographics (only 300,000 “real” Qataris), the will to The first was to find the highest level with an exclusively local population. Pierre Lechantre, coach of Qatar at the beginning of the century cited by Le Monde, sums up the idea by recounting an exchange with a senior leader.
“I pointed out that we were limited by demographics, and he replied: we want players with 100% Qatari blood.”
A fond memory of the 1981 Youth World Cup, where Qatar had ousted Brazil and England before failing to defeat Brazil. the overpowering Germany (4-0) in the final. A date that has inevitably remained in local sporting history.
It is unlikely that the men of F&élix Sanchez will repeat the feat of 41 years ago year. Two games almost impossible to win. to win are waiting for them and the exit door is already there. wide open. Too bad, Qatar has learned to be patient with your football team (except for not leaving the stands half an hour from time in the event of a defeat). An exception that contrasts with the “everything, right away” on which the small emirate is built and its buildings that grow like palm trees in the middle of the desert.