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QFA to introduce measures enhancing athlete performance by 2026 World Cup

Earlier this month, Qatar Football Association’s General Assembly elected several new members to the executive committee. 

Qatar’s football system is expected to witness an overhaul as Qatar Football Association’s (QFA) leaders voiced measures to enhance approaches on and off the pitch.

In an interview with Qatar News Agency, QFA’s Director of Development, Fahd Thani Al Zaraa, noted that a joint education agreement is being developed to facilitate football regulations and training programmes sufficiently.

The collaboration with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will enlist training courses for coaches and specialists in Qatari football clubs.

The football association will also place a larger emphasis on budgets to better manage activities and sporting teams.

Al Zaraa mentioned that a unique philosophy must be instilled into the teams by coaches with the latest approaches in training methods.

During Qatar’s kick-off campaign in the U-17 AFC Asian Cup Thailand 2023, Al Zaraa said that more continental matches for the country’s teams would allow footballers to refine their talents and competitiveness.

Qatar’s participation in France’s Maurice Revello Tournament has given the under-23 team the opportunity to compete in the continental qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, the development director added. 

Regarding the national team, Al Zaraa mentioned that the number one goal for Qatari football is to make it to the 2026 World Cup. 

The director further stated that the first team started a new era with the signing of former Iran coach Carlos Queiroz, who is expected to elevate the team’s performance. 

A dismaying 9-1 performance by Qatar in the quarter-finals of the AFC U20 Asian Cup earlier this year sent a wave of disappointment within the game. 

“Sending some players to train with European clubs a few months ahead of the tournament didn’t help. Qatar’s youth sides failed to produce anything near what Felix Sanchez’s team achieved in 2014,” sports journalist Mohamed El Gharbawy wrote on his social media account.

Other accounts cited that the tournament indicated a decline in the country’s football abilities.

“The rapid decline of Qatari football? – Decimation at the World Cup – Al-Duhail’s 7-0 defeat in the #ACL2022 – 9-1 defeat to Australia at the #AFCU20, eliminated without a win. It’s been coming though; exiting winless at the last two #AFCU23, pretty poor at the recent Gulf Cup,” football commentator Martin Lowe wrote.

With Qatar setting its sights on this month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, pressure has mounted on Queiroz’s lead squad. 

On the 19th of this month, Qatar will also confront New Zealand before hitting the international pitch in the United States for the Gold Cup.

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