Doha, 17 September 2019. The Qatar Under-16 Football National Team, comprised of players that have been developed at Aspire Academy, kick off their qualifying campaign for the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 on Wednesday, September 18 against Bangladesh at 7pm in Aspire Dome in Doha.
The Qatari team, that is coached by Abdul Razzaq Haider, has been preparing for this qualifying tournament, where they are also going to face Yemen (Friday, 7pm) and Bhutan (Sunday, 7pm), since July including a training camp in Italy and a number of very competitive friendlies against teams such as Jordan, Indonesia and Lebanon.
“Thanks to the great support of QFA, we were able to prepare under perfect conditions for these games and the players that are going to represent Qatar are very focused, in a good shape and eager to achieve the best possible results,” says Haidar. “Our main objective is to qualify for the final tournament in 2020 in Bahrain, but besides getting good results we also want to focus on the way we win these games, since this is not only about preparing them for a single tournament. We are in the process of preparing them for future challenges that go beyond youth national teams.”
Asked if the recent success of the senior Qatar National Team put him under more pressure, he said that he sees it more as motivation than pressure. “Qatar’s football is currently experiencing a very strong phase and that’s a very positive development. On the youth level we are continuously working hard to prepare players that can follow the footsteps of the team that won the 2019 Asian Cup and this result is, of course, an extra motivation for the young players.”
AFC U-16 Championship 2020 qualifiers, Aspire Dome:
Wednesday, 18.09.2019: Yemen vs Bhutan (4pm)
Wednesday, 18.09.2019: Bangladesh vs Qatar (7pm)
Friday, 20.09.2019: Bhutan vs Bangladesh (4pm)
Friday, 20.09.2019: Qatar vs Yemen (7pm)
Sunday, 22.09.2019: Yemen vs Bangladesh (4pm)
Sunday, 22.09.2019: Qatar vs Bhutan (7pm)