Two of the world’s top football clubs will be coming to Qatar to face off in a friendly exhibition match on Jan. 2, 2014.
Paris Saint-Germain, France’s reigning champions and owned by Qatar Sport Investments (a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority), will head to Doha before Real Madrid – as it did the two preceding seasons – for a training camp at Aspire Zone until Jan. 3, 2014.
This will be the second friendly match the two teams play after Real Madrid – the richest, most successful and third most popular club in the world – and PSG faced off last July in Sweden.
The game will be organized by the Qatar Football Association (QFA) as part of the partnership between Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and PSG, for the promotion of Qatar as an attractive tourist destination.
In a statement about the match, PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi said:
“To play against an excellent team such as Real Madrid is for us, and all those passionate about football in the Arab world, a great source of joy and underlines the excellent relations that exist between Real Madrid and PSG.
This game is the best possible way for both teams to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in the second half of the season in their domestic championships and the Champions League.”
Although the match will be a friendly one, a lot of French and Spanish eyes will be watching. Successful hosting on Qatar’s part could go some way toward convincing Europeans that Doha is a good place to play football.
Economics reasons aside, in terms of sponsorships from Fly Emirates, QTA, Ooredoo, etc, the match is sure to be well-reported as fans anticipate the outcome.
Bottom line: The football world will have its eyes turned to Doha for at least 90 minutes in 2014, and it’s a chance for Qatar to show everyone what the 2022 World Cup could be like.