Doha

AFP

English Football Association signs agreements in Qatar

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Doha (AFP) – The English Football Association, once a vocal critic of the decision to let Qatar host the 2022 World Cup, on Wednesday signed a cooperation agreement with tournament organisers in Doha.

Chairman Greg Clarke was in the Gulf to sign “memorandum of understandings” with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the body responsible for the 2022 tournament, and the Qatar Football Association (QFA).

English Football Association signs agreements in Qatar

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Doha (AFP) – The English Football Association, once a vocal critic of the decision to let Qatar host the 2022 World Cup, on Wednesday signed a cooperation agreement with tournament organisers in Doha.

Chairman Greg Clarke was in the Gulf to sign “memorandum of understandings” with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the body responsible for the 2022 tournament, and the Qatar Football Association (QFA).

Wozniacki and Halep could collide again in Qatar Open

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Doha (AFP) – Little more than a fortnight since they met in a scintillating Australian Open final, Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep are on course to meet again, this time in the Qatar Open.

The two best ranked players in the world lead a high-quality field in Doha, where nine of the top 10 women players will compete.

Fans stay away as Xavi beats Sneijder – this time in Qatar

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Doha (AFP) – They once played against each other in a World Cup final, but on Thursday night Wesley Sneijder and Xavi Hernandez met in the less grand surroundings of Qatar’s domestic league.

The clash - in a near-deserted stadium in a Doha suburb - between Sneijder’s Al Gharafa and Xavi’s Al Sadd was the first between two of the best midfielders of the past decade since the Dutchman’s recent move to Qatar.

Fans stay away as Xavi beats Sneijder – this time in Qatar

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Doha (AFP) – They once played against each other in a World Cup final, but on Thursday night Wesley Sneijder and Xavi Hernandez met in the less grand surroundings of Qatar’s domestic league.

The clash - in a near-deserted stadium in a Doha suburb - between Sneijder’s Al Gharafa and Xavi’s Al Sadd was the first between two of the best midfielders of the past decade since the Dutchman’s recent move to Qatar.

Bayern’s Heynckes rules out Vidal Chelsea move

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Doha (AFP) – Jupp Heynckes said Saturday there had been no contact between Bayern Munich and Chelsea over Arturo Vidal and the Chilean international would not be sold during the January transfer window.

The veteran coach was responding to media reports over a possible transfer of the midfielder, which Heynckes dismissed as “pure speculation”.

Qatar unveils World Cup’s first ‘reusable’ stadium

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Doha (AFP) – Qatar on Sunday unveiled the design for what it claims is the World Cup’s first ‘reusable’ stadium, the seventh of eight expected venues that will stage games during the 2022 tournament.

Ras Abu Aboud is a 40,000 stadium that will be built on Doha’s southern waterfront and host matches up to the quarter-final stage.

Qatar unveils World Cup’s first ‘reusable’ stadium

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Doha (AFP) – Qatar on Sunday unveiled the design for what it claims is the World Cup’s first ‘reusable’ stadium, the seventh of eight expected venues that will stage games during the 2022 tournament.

Ras Abu Aboud is a 40,000 stadium that will be built on Doha’s southern waterfront and host matches up to the quarter-final stage.

Iceland held by last-gasp Qatar

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Doha (AFP) – A last-minute equaliser from Qatar’s Mohammed Muntari meant Iceland warmed up for their World Cup finals debut in Russia next year without a win in two friendly matches in Doha.

The 1-1 draw on Tuesday followed up their 2-1 defeat against the Czech Republic in Qatar last week.

Iceland held by last-gasp Qatar

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Doha (AFP) – A last-minute equaliser from Qatar’s Mohammed Muntari meant Iceland warmed up for their World Cup finals debut in Russia next year without a win in two friendly matches in Doha.

The 1-1 draw on Tuesday followed up their 2-1 defeat against the Czech Republic in Qatar last week.

beIN graft claims test limit of Qatar’s soft power

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Doha (AFP) – Thursday’s bombshell announcement that the Swiss are investigating Qatar’s Nasser Al-Khelaifi and a disgraced former senior FIFA executive on corruption charges places the emirate and world football back under scrutiny.

Investigators are examining allegations of bribery surrounding Khelaifi, head of the Doha-based beIN media group, and ex-FIFA secretary general, Jerome Valcke, over the sale of World Cup media rights for football’s flagship tournament.

beIN graft claims test limit of Qatar’s soft power

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Doha (AFP) – Thursday’s bombshell announcement that the Swiss are investigating Qatar’s Nasser Al-Khelaifi and a disgraced former senior FIFA executive on corruption charges places the emirate and world football back under scrutiny.

Investigators are examining allegations of bribery surrounding Khelaifi, head of the Doha-based beIN media group, and ex-FIFA secretary general, Jerome Valcke, over the sale of World Cup media rights for football’s flagship tournament.

China out of World Cup despite victory

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Doha (AFP) – China’s faint hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia finally ended on Tuesday, despite securing the victory they needed in Qatar.

Syria’s draw in Iran and Uzbekistan’s draw with South Korea meant that two late goals to secure a 2-1 win in Doha were ultimately futile in China’s desperate bid to snatch a play-off place for next year’s tournament.

China out of World Cup despite victory

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Doha (AFP) – China’s faint hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals in Russia finally ended on Tuesday, despite securing the victory they needed in Qatar.

Syria’s draw in Iran and Uzbekistan’s draw with South Korea meant that two late goals to secure a 2-1 win in Doha were ultimately futile in China’s desperate bid to snatch a play-off place for next year’s tournament.

Barcelona’s football star Alba steps into Gulf crisis

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Doha (AFP) – Barcelona star Jordi Alba has become the latest Spanish footballer to enter the Gulf diplomatic crisis after he was shown signing a T-shirt of Qatar’s leader on Wednesday.

A video of Alba autographing the image of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, which has become the symbol of Qatari resistance during the month-long row between Doha and neighbouring countries, was posted on Twitter.

Qatar keep FIFA World Cup hopes alive after defeating South Korea

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Doha (AFP) – World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar improbably kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for next year’s tournament in Russia with a thrilling victory over South Korea on Tuesday.

On a politically charged night in Doha, a Hasan Al-Haydos goal, his second of the match, secured a 3-2 win after Qatar had squandered a two-goal lead and looked to be heading out of the competition.

Qatar keep FIFA World Cup hopes alive after defeating South Korea

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Doha (AFP) – World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar improbably kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for next year’s tournament in Russia with a thrilling victory over South Korea on Tuesday.

On a politically charged night in Doha, a Hasan Al-Haydos goal, his second of the match, secured a 3-2 win after Qatar had squandered a two-goal lead and looked to be heading out of the competition.

Qatar keep World Cup hopes alive

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Doha (AFP) – World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar improbably kept alive their slim hopes of qualifying for next year’s tournament in Russia with a thrilling victory over South Korea on Tuesday.

On a politically charged night in Doha, a Hasan Al-Haydos goal, his second of the match, secured a 3-2 win after Qatar had squandered a two goal lead and looked to be heading out of the competition.

Qatar risks FIFA action in Emir T-shirt protest

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Doha (AFP) – Qatar’s national team could face disciplinary action from FIFA after players warmed up for a World Cup qualifier against South Korea Tuesday in T-shirts showing support for the country’s emir.

The players prepared for the crucial game in Doha wearing white shirts emblazoned with a profile portrait of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Qatar risks FIFA action in Emir T-shirt protest

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Doha (AFP) – Qatar’s national team could face disciplinary action from FIFA after players warmed up for a World Cup qualifier against South Korea Tuesday in T-shirts showing support for the country’s emir.

The players prepared for the crucial game in Doha wearing white shirts emblazoned with a profile portrait of Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

Korea’s Stielike wary of Qatar threat

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Doha (AFP) – South Korea’s coach Uli Stielike admitted on Monday that he was concerned by the threat posed by Qatar ahead of a crucial World Cup qualifier in Doha.

If South Korea manage to win on Tuesday, they will take a huge step to joining Iran in next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Korea’s Stielike wary of Qatar threat

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Doha (AFP) – South Korea’s coach Uli Stielike admitted on Monday that he was concerned by the threat posed by Qatar ahead of a crucial World Cup qualifier in Doha.

If South Korea manage to win on Tuesday, they will take a huge step to joining Iran in next year’s World Cup in Russia.

Football: Gulf crisis could hit Qatar 2022

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Doha (AFP) – The diplomatic crisis sweeping the Gulf could invigorate a campaign by critics of Qatar to strip Doha of the 2022 World Cup, experts said Monday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen were among those to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on the grounds that Doha supported extremist groups “that aim to destabilise the region”.

Football: Gulf crisis could hit Qatar 2022

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Doha (AFP) – The diplomatic crisis sweeping the Gulf could invigorate a campaign by critics of Qatar to strip Doha of the 2022 World Cup, experts said Monday.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen were among those to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on the grounds that Doha supported extremist groups “that aim to destabilise the region”.

Qatar’s Al Rayyan crash out after Doha thriller

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Doha (AFP) – Qatar’s Al Rayyan crashed out of the Asian Champions League after being handed a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat by Saudi giants Al Hilal on Monday.

The Michael Laudrup managed side needed a win to secure their first ever last 16 berth but a brace each by Nicolas Milesi and Omar Khribin in a Doha thriller put paid to their hopes as already qualified Al Hilal went on to top Group D with 12 points from six matches.

Iran close in on World Cup as Qatar look doomed

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Doha (AFP) – Iran took a major step towards making the 2018 World Cup finals winning 1-0 in Doha on Thursday, a result which virtually ends Qatar’s hopes of reaching Russia.

A cool Mehdi Taremi finish in the 51st minute after breaking clear of the Qatar defence was the difference between the two sides and leaves Iran four points clear at the top of Group A with just four games to play.

Iran close in on World Cup as Qatar look doomed

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Doha (AFP) – Iran took a major step towards making the 2018 World Cup finals winning 1-0 in Doha on Thursday, a result which virtually ends Qatar’s hopes of reaching Russia.

A cool Mehdi Taremi finish in the 51st minute after breaking clear of the Qatar defence was the difference between the two sides and leaves Iran four points clear at the top of Group A with just four games to play.

Qatar’s Lekhwiya hit groove in Doha

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Doha (AFP) – Moroccan international Youssef al-Arabi registered a brace as Qatar giants Lekhwiya downed UAE’s Al Jazira 3-0 on the opening day of the Asian Champions League on Monday.

Lekhwiya, who lately have experienced a slight slump in form in the domestic Qatar Stars League, hit their groove from the very outset to put the top UAE side under pressure and emerged deserving winners on a chilly evening in Doha.

FIFA boss not worried about hooligans at Russia World Cup

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Doha (AFP) – FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Thursday he did not fear hooligan troubles at the World Cup in Russia next year despite reported threats against foreign fans.

“I am not concerned about trouble in 2018, I have full confidence in the Russian authorities,” Infantino told AFP and a small group of reporters on the sidelines of a meeting in Doha.

PSG boss Nasser ready for intense times

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Doha (AFP) – The next few days promise to be intense for Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of Paris Saint-Germain and arguably the most recognisable face behind tiny Qatar’s global sporting rise.

On Tuesday night he will take his seat in the Presidentielle Stand at the Parc des Princes for the first leg of the crucial Champions League last 16 tie against Barcelona.

PSG boss Nasser ready for intense times

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Doha (AFP) – The next few days promise to be intense for Nasser Al-Khelaifi, chairman of Paris Saint-Germain and arguably the most recognisable face behind tiny Qatar’s global sporting rise.

On Tuesday night he will take his seat in the Presidentielle Stand at the Parc des Princes for the first leg of the crucial Champions League last 16 tie against Barcelona.

No plane advantage for Juventus – Allegri

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Doha (AFP) Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri denied on Thursday that his side were at an advantage because their Italian Super Cup final opponents AC Milan touched down in Qatar 24 hours late.

Milan only arrived in Doha late Tuesday a full day after Juve after technical problems with their plane pushed back the team's arrival.

No plane advantage for Juventus – Allegri

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Doha (AFP) Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri denied on Thursday that his side were at an advantage because their Italian Super Cup final opponents AC Milan touched down in Qatar 24 hours late.

Milan only arrived in Doha late Tuesday a full day after Juve after technical problems with their plane pushed back the team's arrival.

Qatar 2022 attacks ‘malicious’: organiser

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Doha (AFP) Qatar's much-criticised 2022 World Cup has been the victim of "malicious and unwarranted attacks", a senior tournament official in the Gulf said on Monday.

Nasser Al-Khater, assistant secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body overseeing the organisation of the tournament in Qatar, also claimed that many of the country's critics had not "set foot in the country".

Qatar 2022 attacks ‘malicious’: organiser

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Doha (AFP) Qatar's much-criticised 2022 World Cup has been the victim of "malicious and unwarranted attacks", a senior tournament official in the Gulf said on Monday.

Nasser Al-Khater, assistant secretary general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body overseeing the organisation of the tournament in Qatar, also claimed that many of the country's critics had not "set foot in the country".

Qatar beat Russia in penalty-strewn friendly

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Doha (AFP) Qatar beat fellow future World Cup hosts Russia in Doha on Thursday, in a friendly game which featured four penalties.

A smart 72nd minute header from Karim Boudiaf was enough to secure a morale-boosting 2-1 victory for Qatar ahead of next week's crucial World Cup qualifier in China.

Al Ain seal Asian Champions League final berth

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Doha (AFP) UAE giants Al Ain progressed to the final of the AFC Champions League at the expense of Qatar's El Jaish after a 2-2 draw in their semi-final second leg in Doha ensured a 5-3 aggregate victory on Tuesday.

El Jaish needed to raise their game a few notches to overcome a two-goal deficit following their 3-1 defeat in the first leg, but despite Brazilian Romarinho's double the Emirati giants held their nerve to clinch a last-gasp draw with Mohamed Abdulrahman finding the net in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Qatar to play three European friendlies in 2016

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Doha (AFP) Qatar will play three European friendlies this year, the first against Albania, ahead of crucial 2018 World Cup qualifiers, coach Jose Daniel Carreno announced Saturday.

The match against Albania will take place in Austria on May 29.

That is just 13 days before Albania play their first game at the European Championship in France.

data analyst

Football fans to get smartphone vote to substitute player

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Doha (AFP) An English Premier League club wants to allow supporters to vote via smartphone for the player they want substituted during a match, a data analyst has told a Doha football conference.

Fans would cast their votes via an app on their phones after being given real-time performance data for every player on the pitch, said Mark Sear, chief technology officer with data and analytics company, EMC.

Football fans to get smartphone vote to substitute player

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Doha (AFP) An English Premier League club wants to allow supporters to vote via smartphone for the player they want substituted during a match, a data analyst has told a Doha football conference.

Fans would cast their votes via an app on their phones after being given real-time performance data for every player on the pitch, said Mark Sear, chief technology officer with data and analytics company, EMC.