"ASPIRE ACADEMY REFLECTS QATAR’S FOOTBALL SUCCESS STORY"
04 Sep 2019, General
Doha, 4 September 2019. The Afghanistan national football team took time off their training schedule in preparation for their opening match of the double qualifiers 2022 World Cup Asia Qualifiers and 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers against Qatar to visit Aspire Academy on Wednesday. The team comprised of coaching staff and players was welcomed at Aspire by Deputy Director General, Ali Salem Afifa who went on to lead a comprehensive tour of world- renowned Sports Academy. Mr Afifa gave them an insight into the Academy’s philosophy of nurturing sporting talent and mentioned that the bulk of the Qatar football team who won the 2019 Asian Cup are graduates of Aspire Academy.
During the tour Afghanistan coach Anoush Dastgir, a graduate of the famed Johan Cruyff Institute of Coaching sang praises of the football development programs run in Qatar of which Aspire Academy is part of. “The infrastructure, facilities and the program of youth development in football run here at Aspire are very good. I have been to Brazil where similar operations are run but Aspire is on a higher level. Qatar are the current Asian Cup champions, and this was not achieved over night but as a result of long term planning whose foundation and background is traceable to the work done here at Aspire Academy. Qatar as a country has shown the world how a government, working with its people, its Football Association and all other stakeholders can plan and work hard to bring about success in sport.
For 27-year-old Afghanistan defender, Hassan Amin who plays his club football for SV Meppen in Germany’s 3rd division, the visit to Aspire was an eye opener and impressed the entire Afghan team, “We have a young team and one still gaining experience. We look forward to playing Qatar, the Asian champions and will give it our best. I have to say Aspire Academy is fantastic as a youth development center. I was born and grew up in Germany and used and been to some of the very top sports facilities and academies but Aspire betters them all.”