FIFA confirms 22-team dress rehearsal Arab Cup to be held in Qatar

FIFA President Gianni Infantino

A total of 22 national teams from the Arab region will take part in the FIFA Arab Cup, the international governing body’s President, Gianni Infantino, has announced.

Infantino recently visited the Lusail Stadium, which will stage the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final on 18 December, which is also Qatar National Day.

“We are delighted that all 22 teams from across the Arab world have agreed to take part in the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, which will be held in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums, and we are looking forward to seeing the region’s best teams battle it out to see which nation will become champion,” remarked Infantino.

“Through football, this tournament will unite over 450 million people from across the region, and we are confident that the FIFA Arab Cup will help to build excitement across the region as we edge ever nearer to hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world in 2022.”

The Arab Cup tournament will take place between 1 and 18 December 2021, with Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen all confirmed as participants.

Teams will be split into four groups, with the top two from each group progressing to the quarter-finals. Throughout the tournament, 32 games will be staged across 18 days.

QFA President, H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani, added: “Qatar looks forward to welcoming 22 Arab national teams and their fans, and giving them the opportunity to be one of the select teams that will experience what Qatar has prepared to host the FIFA World Cup.

“The tournament will give our national team the chance to enhance their preparations ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, by going up against some of the best teams in the region.

The competition will act as a practice drill for the 2022 World Cup, allowing FIFA and the Qatar Football Association to ensure everything runs smoothly for the major event the following year.

The QFA President continued: “Fans from across the region will be treated to the same world-class experience that awaits fans from around the world when they flock to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

“We welcome our friends from the Middle East and the Arab world to join us in what will be an important milestone and a final test of our preparations, only one year away from us hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the region.”