The Qatar Football Association [QFA] invited the young Yemeni team to attend the FIFA Arab Cup final following its victory at the West Asian Junior Championship.
Qatar and Yemen took steps towards enhancing cooperation in the field of sports and youth on Tuesday, following a meeting in Doha.
Qatar’s Minister of Sports and Youth Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali met his Yemeni counterpart Nayef bin Saleh Al-Bakri to discuss developments in sports after the QFA invited the Yemeni U15 national team to attend the final FIFA Arab Cup 2021 match.
“At the end of the meeting, a joint statement was issued aimed at consolidating brotherly relations between the two brotherly countries and developing joint work between them in the fields of sports and youth,” read a tweet by Qatar’s Ministry of Sports and Youth.
— Basha باشا (@BashaReport) December 13, 2021
The final match took place on Saturday at the Al Bayt Stadium between Tunisia and Algeria and saw the victory of the latter after it won 2-0 in a last minute goal in extra time.
The QFA said the invitation was “in honour of the Yemeni team” after it defeated Saudi Arabia 4-3 on penalties to take home the West Asian Football Federation [WAFF] U15 Boys’ Championship 2021 title.
“The QFA’s honouring of the Yemeni U15 team is to serve as an incentive and motivation for them to continue at this level of high performance and enthusiasm, that they showed throughout the tournament,” read a statement by QFA on Saturday.
In Yemen, the victory was met with mass nationwide celebrations in the first such scenes since the deadly war began seven years ago.
As the first win of its kind, companies in Yemen were quick to reward the youth team with cash and gifts as a thank you for “bringing smiles to the people.”
In 2014, the Houthis overran all government institutions in Sanaa and gained control of the city, forcing the internationally-recognised government to flee to Aden.
The Saudi-led coalition then launched a military intervention to push back the rebels in a bid to reinstate the government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
However, years on, at least 233,000 Yemenis have been killed in the past six years, among them 131,000 who died as a result of malnutrition, lack of healthcare and medicine.