Qatar to make guest appearance in 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup
For the first time since 2005, the Concacaf Gold Cup will include a guest team from outside the region. The current champions of Asia, the Qatari National Team, will participate in the 2021 and 2023 Gold Cups as part of a major collaboration between Concacaf and the host country of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Qatar becomes the seventh guest nation to play in the Gold Cup, joining the ranks of Brazil (1996, 1998, 2003), Colombia (2000, 2003, 2005), Peru (2000), Ecuador (2002), South Africa (2005) and South Korea (2000, 2002).
Along with South Korea, Qatar will become the second nation from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to appear in a Gold Cup tournament.
Concacaf and AFC have a longstanding relationship that has resulted in various joint initiatives which have served to greatly develop football in both regions, including a referee exchange in which referees from the AFC officiated matches in the 2019 Gold Cup and 2018 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, while Concacaf referees oversaw matches in both the 2018 AFC Champions League and 2019 Asian Cup.
Fans from around the Concacaf region can expect a very competitive Qatar team to display its football in the 2021 Gold Cup.
The Maroons are the reigning Asian Cup champions after claiming the 2019 title in style, beginning with a perfect 3W-0D-0L record in the group stage, while outscoring opponents 10-0.
Qatar then went on to earn three straight clean sheet victories over Iraq (1-0), 2018 FIFA World Cup participant South Korea (1-0) and United Arab Emirates (4-0) to reach the Final, where they defeated another 2018 World Cup side, Japan, 3-1 to win their first Asian Cup.
Another facet of the relationship between Concacaf and the Qatari Football Association (QFA), along with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), is an initiative to grow the game at a grassroots level in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
This will include a focus on community coach development that will benefit thousands of young people within the Confederation.
The goal will be to build upon the foundations put in place by Concacaf through its NextPlay Programme and the SC’s Generation Amazing legacy project, which is its flagship human and social legacy programme that uses the power of football to create sustainable social development in communities around the world.