The Qatar Stars League has amended the season ahead of the 25th Arabian Gulf Cup
A number of matches in the Qatar Stars League (QSL) have been postponed to make way for the Arabian Gulf Cup in Iraq, the league announced on Sunday.
The move will allow Iraqi players playing in the QSL to join their national teams for the upcoming Arabian Gulf Cup.
QSL’s Week 8 matches will be pushed to next Wednesday and Thursday as the tournament will be held between January 6-19 in the Iraqi city of Basra.
Week 9 will be played on January 11-12, while Week 10 has been postponed to the 17th and 18th of the month.
Some of the clubs that have had their timetable modified are Al-Shamal and Al-Markhiya, as they have agreed to release Iraq internationals Amjad Atwan and Aymen Hussein for the tournament.
Another notable change sees defending champions Al-Sadd’s game against Qatar SC in Round 8 postponed to March 11 as several of Al-Sadd’s players are in the Qatar national team camp for the Gulf Cup.
If Iraq reaches the semi-finals, QSL will postpone Week 10 of the league, forcing Al Sailiya vs. Al Markhiya and Al Shamal vs. Umm Salal to April 25.
Al Rayyan’s season will resume on January 5 against Al-Sailiya, which currently occupies the 11th position.
The leaders of the QSL are Al Arabi with 16 points, a point ahead of Al Wakrah.
Qatar’s Al-Arabi notably signed Rafinha Alcantara from Paris Saint Germain last year, who has made 39 appearances for the Parisians.
Al-Arabi has had a successful season since Alcantara merged with the club and have had the additional asset of Syrian striker Omar Al Somah.
Al Somah was signed on loan for a one-season contract at the Al Arabi club in August and made an instant difference.
The striker made two goals against a match between Al Sailiya, which ultimately ended 5-1.
Al Arabi will begin its season on the January 5 against Al Ahli.