Doha

AFP

Berg helps Al Ain into AFC Champions League last 16

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Doha (Qatar) (AFP) – Marcus Berg was twice on target as the UAE’s Al Ain advanced to the last 16 stage of the AFC Champions League with an emphatic 4-1 rout of Qatar’s Al Rayyan on Tuesday.

With Iran’s Estheglal already through from Group D, Tuesday’s match in Doha was a direct battle for second place but Michael Laudrup’s Al Rayyan came up woefully short against the better organised Emiratis who never lost control over the proceedings.

Berg helps Al Ain into AFC Champions League last 16

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Doha (Qatar) (AFP) – Marcus Berg was twice on target as the UAE’s Al Ain advanced to the last 16 stage of the AFC Champions League with an emphatic 4-1 rout of Qatar’s Al Rayyan on Tuesday.

With Iran’s Estheglal already through from Group D, Tuesday’s match in Doha was a direct battle for second place but Michael Laudrup’s Al Rayyan came up woefully short against the better organised Emiratis who never lost control over the proceedings.

Qatar say yes to playing in 2019 Copa America

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Doha (Qatar) (AFP) – Middle Eastern emirate Qatar will play in the 2019 Copa America in Brazil after accepting an invitation to take part, a football association spokesman in Doha said on Thursday.

“Qatar will play in the 2019 Copa America, it’s a great opportunity for us to participate in such a tournament,” the spokesman told AFP.

Qatar say yes to playing in 2019 Copa America

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Doha (Qatar) (AFP) – Middle Eastern emirate Qatar will play in the 2019 Copa America in Brazil after accepting an invitation to take part, a football association spokesman in Doha said on Thursday.

“Qatar will play in the 2019 Copa America, it’s a great opportunity for us to participate in such a tournament,” the spokesman told AFP.

Qatar coach wants 2022 World Cup hosts to play in Copa America

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Doha (Qatar) (AFP) – Qatar’s national team coach Felix Sanchez said Wednesday he would welcome the chance for the 2022 World Cup hosts playing in next year’s Copa America in Brazil.

Amid growing speculation that wealthy Middle Eastern emirate will be invited to take part in the South American tournament, Sanchez said the possibility of playing against some of the world’s best teams was “very exciting”.

Qatar coach wants 2022 World Cup hosts to play in Copa America

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Doha (Qatar) (AFP) – Qatar’s national team coach Felix Sanchez said Wednesday he would welcome the chance for the 2022 World Cup hosts playing in next year’s Copa America in Brazil.

Amid growing speculation that wealthy Middle Eastern emirate will be invited to take part in the South American tournament, Sanchez said the possibility of playing against some of the world’s best teams was “very exciting”.

Duhail qualify for last 16 as Al Hilal suffer Rayyan blow

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Doha (AFP) – Qatar’s Al Duhail who became the first team to secure their knockout ticket in the Asian Champions League on Monday but Saudi giants Al Hilal’s chances suffered a blow.

Al Hilal, losers in last year’s final, were off colour against Michael Laudrup’s Al Rayyan who dominated play and created more chances as they won 2-1 in Doha.

Qatar’s Al Gharafa and Saudi’s Al Ahli in diplomatic AFC draw

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Doha (AFP) – An injury-time equaliser denied Al Ahli an AFC Champions League victory in Doha Monday as the Saudi side became the first from a boycotting nation to play in Qatar since the beginning of the Gulf crisis.

On a politically charged night in the Qatari capital, the Saudis were only able to draw 1-1 with Wesley Sneijder’s Al Gharafa.

Qatar’s Al Gharafa and Saudi’s Al Ahli in diplomatic AFC draw

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Doha (AFP) – An injury-time equaliser denied Al Ahli an AFC Champions League victory in Doha Monday as the Saudi side became the first from a boycotting nation to play in Qatar since the beginning of the Gulf crisis.

On a politically charged night in the Qatari capital, the Saudis were only able to draw 1-1 with Wesley Sneijder’s Al Gharafa.

Qatar to plant 16,000 trees to spruce up World Cup venues

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Doha (AFP) – Desert country Qatar will plant at least 16,000 trees in a bid to “beautify” its eight planned 2022 World Cup stadiums, tournament organisers said on Thursday.

The trees, a mixture of local specimens and other varieties imported from China, Spain and Thailand, will be grown in a vast nursery outside capital city Doha before being planted around the venues.

Qatar to plant 16,000 trees to spruce up World Cup venues

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Doha (AFP) – Desert country Qatar will plant at least 16,000 trees in a bid to “beautify” its eight planned 2022 World Cup stadiums, tournament organisers said on Thursday.

The trees, a mixture of local specimens and other varieties imported from China, Spain and Thailand, will be grown in a vast nursery outside capital city Doha before being planted around the venues.

Unstoppable Bounedjah powers Al Sadd to second straight win

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Doha (AFP) – Baghdad Bounedjah continued his spectacular comeback from a near three-month injury layoff to power Al Sadd to their second straight victory in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

The Algerian striker, who scored a brace in Al Sadd’s 2-1 win over the UAE’s Al Wasl last week, was twice on target again as the 2011 champions saw off Iran’s Persepolis 3-1 at the Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

Unstoppable Bounedjah powers Al Sadd to second straight win

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Doha (AFP) – Baghdad Bounedjah continued his spectacular comeback from a near three-month injury layoff to power Al Sadd to their second straight victory in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.

The Algerian striker, who scored a brace in Al Sadd’s 2-1 win over the UAE’s Al Wasl last week, was twice on target again as the 2011 champions saw off Iran’s Persepolis 3-1 at the Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

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.