2021 FIFA Arab Cup
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
Al Rayyan Stadium in Qatar
The Arab Cup kicked off on November 30 and ended on December 18, Qatar’s National Day (the Qatar 2022 will also end on the country's national day!). The Arab Cup was first hosted in Lebanon back in 1963 with only 5 teams taking part. Iraq have won it four times more than any other country with their last triumph coming in 1988
The lucky teams got the first chance to play in six of the stadiums that will host the World Cup games next Winter. A total of 16 teams competed in The Arab Cup coming from two federations; The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Confederation of African Football (CAF). There were four groups of four teams with the teams that finished first and second progressing to the knockout stages. In the 18 days of tournament 24 games were played.
Who was predicted to win the tournament?
The teams that were expected to make it to the latter stages are the usual suspects; Qatar, Morocco, Algeria and Egypt . Qatar when they last hosted it in 1998 were runners up and were hoping to go one better with the home support. Algeria have been unbeaten since October 2018. Morocco lost on penalties last time to Saudi Arabia
Tunisia was suspected to cause an upset as they are ranked the 27th best team in the world; the highest out of all 16 teams. We couldn’t rule out Saudi Arabia who are the only team with a 100% record while qualifying for Qatar 2022 through the AFC.
So which players will fans recognize?
Mo Salah the Egyptian forward who plays for Liverpool was on fire leading to the tournament with 10 goals in his last 9 games.
Man City fans will be keen to follow the winger Riyad Mahrez who is Algeria’s best ever player netting 19 times in 62 games.
Interesting Facts about the Arab Cup
There are 11 European managers at the competition including Dick Advocaat; former Netherlands coach now in charge of Iraq,
The Qatari manager Felix Sanchez spent 11 years with the Barcelona Academy
Iraq will be playing Bahrain who beat them 10-1 in 1966
Tunisia and Mauritania have been drawn in the same group for the 3rd time.
The Doha Metro will take fans from and to each of the 6 World Cup stadiums to watch the drama unfold.
The Final match of the 2021 Arab Cup took place at Al Bayt Stadium with Algeria taking the cup in a smashing 2-0 win.
Al Bayt Stadium
I don’t know about you, but this sneak peak at the Qatari stadiums has me even more excited for the 2022 World Cup!
Who do you think will take home the World Cup this year? Let us know in the comments section below!