Browsing 'emir cup' News

Photos courtesy of QFA, QNA and SCDL

Qatar’s Lekhwiya football club clinched its maiden Emir Cup title last night after defeating Al Sadd 4-2 in the penalty round.

The teams went into a penalty shootout after the initial game ended in a 2-2 tie, keeping thousands of fans on the edge of their seats.

Lekhwiya ended up scoring all of their four penalties, ending Al Sadd’s chance at claiming the Cup for a third consecutive year.

The night ended with the Emir presenting the trophy at Al Sadd stadium and a fireworks show.

Did you watch the game? Thoughts?

Emir Cup

Glen McKay

Last weekend, several hundred ticket-holders in Qatar were denied entry to the Emir Cup at Khalifa Stadium for reasons yet to be addressed by the event organizers.

Dr. Ahmed Al Mohannadi, the outspoken editor-in-chief of sports publication Doha Stadium Plus, denounced the turn of events as “pitiable” and “disgusting,” saying it detracts from the hard work put into the match.

In a recent editorial, he pointed out that this was not the first time paying fans were turned away at popular sporting events, as similar scenarios took place during last year’s Spain vs. Uruguay match and the 2011 Asian Football Confederation Final.

Al Mohannadi continued:

“I won’t raise the question ‘who’s to be blamed?’ For, we’ve been gleefully engaging in blame games after similar commotions many times in the past.

The security personnel are supposed to soak up moments of confusion, but many of them at the gates looked clueless and agitated. The Qatar Football Association may not be at direct fault. But if anyone points a finger at it being the guardian of the game in the country, we can’t blame him.”

There also appeared to be room for improvement in terms of the organization of the event inside the stadium. On his blog, Qatar resident Glen McKay, who attended the match, wrote:

“Because the stadium was full the concession stands were completely overwhelmed, at least in the area I was sitting in. Crowds three or four deep pushing and shoving trying to buy something at the counter. No order to it at all, no queue. Supplies of some things ran low, I wanted to buy some water but the concession stand had run out.”

The familiar outcome has prompted many residents to question Qatar’s preparedness to host the 2022 World Cup, one of the globe’s largest sporting events.

To keep organizational problems from recurring, Al Mohannadi advocates patience in planning, instead of opting to “find more joy in being the lords of our own fiefdom.”

Thoughts?

Photos courtesy of @alsaadfc on Twitter and QFA on Facebook

With a 3-0 score, FC Al Saad clinched last night’s Emir Cup, beating Al Sailiya and carrying away the trophy for a record 14th time.

On Twitter, fans reported a good atmosphere inside the stadium, but in an echo of events at last year’s final, some ticket holders were again denied entry to the match.

And also last night, ticket holder Joanne King posted on the Doha News Facebook page:

“Why is everyone being turned away from the stadium at the Emirs Cup, Khalifa stadium?? My family have been there since 6.20pm and are not allowed in..does anyone know why? How disappointing. Yet again another disappointing football event. 2022 – really????

It’s not yet clear why so many fans were turned away at the gates. A spokesperson for the Qatar Football Association, which organized the event, said the matter was being looked into.

The exclusion of paying fans at matches and events here is not without precedent. Aside from last year’s Emir Cup, similar scenarios played out at the 2013 Spain vs. Uruguay match (a delay blamed on slow security checks), and at the 2011 Asian Football Confederation Final.

‘One-sided’ match

Local sports weekly DohaStadiumPlus described last night’s final as “one-sided,” saying that Al Saad dominated surprise finalists Al Sailiya. Al Saad’s goals were scored by Spanish football star Raul Gonzalez and Qatari internationals Ibrahim Majed and Hassan Al Haidous.

The Emir Cup has been played every year since 1972. Al Sadd have won the event the most time – 14, in all – followed by Al Arabi, who have carried away the title seven times. Al Rayyan won the cup last year.

Were you at the match last night? Thoughts?