Browsing 'qatar football association' News

 

The strong face-off between English and Qatar Football Association takes a friendly turn.

Chief of English Football Association, Greg Clarke  signed “Knowledge sharing” memorandum of understanding with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the body responsible for the 2022 tournament, and the Qatar Football Association (QFA).

The differences between English and Qatar Football were a result of various controversies that surrounded Qatar then, ranging from violation of rights of migrant workers to voting issues for hosting FIFA 2022.

Greg Dyke, then English FA, chief described Qatar being awarded the hosting rights of World Cup as “the worst moment in FIFA’s history”. Qatar was criticised for ignoring labour rights for building FIFA stadium and was considered to be “the best of the bad options” for winning the bid.

After the investigation cleared Qatar for any wrongdoing to win the bid for hosting FIFA 2022 there has been a slight change in the sentiment. Further Qatar’s commitment to International Labour Organisation (ILO) to bring in labour reforms including freedom of workers to change jobs, minimum wages without discrimination and healthy working conditions, can be considered as the major turning point towards the change of heart.

The association is focussed around sharing of ideas experiences and expertise including grassroots football, youth development, women’s football, management and administration with the aim to promote and improve football.

British Ambassador to Qatar, Ajay Sharma, who said: “This will mark the beginning of even deeper cooperation between our two countries, and underlines the UK’s support for Qatar in delivering a successful World Cup 2022.” The association is though a friendly move but is not free from raising important questions regarding human rights.

Qatar has taken a series of steps in the direction already and has shown commitment towards achieving the reforms in spirit. Though it is still under scrutiny from Amnesty International, Human rights groups and various other organisations for successful implementation of committed labour reforms.

However this development is bound to raise both motivation of Qatar to host FIFA 2022 to best of its capabilities without compromising the rights of workers.

 

Hassan Ammar/AP

Vanishing spray being tested at FIFA World Cup training session

The Qatar Football Association (QFA) has said it will begin to use vanishing spray – a referee’s tool to ensure fair play during matches – this week, as the Qatar Stars League  kicks off on Thursday.

QFA said it will be the first among Arab and Asian leagues to embrace the tool, and will be using it in its Qatar Stars League, Emir Cup, Qatar Cup and Qatargas League.

Vanishing spray has been used in other countries for years, but made its first major international debut at this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, when referees used it to mark the placement of footballs and defensive players during free kicks.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Henry Wortel/Wikicommons

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Circling the ball with white foam, which looks like shaving cream but vanishes into the grass in under a minute, ensures that the attacking team doesn’t move it away from where the penalty kick was awarded.

After pacing 10 yards in the direction of the attack, referees must also draw a line across the field to indicate where players making up the defensive wall are to stand. The line ensures that players don’t encroach the mandated 10 yards.

Overall, the use of the spray is said to prevent unnecessary delays through easily monitoring the action of players, ensuring that they are following the rules of the game.

The idea

915 Fairplay Limit, the official spray of the 2014 World Cup

915 Fairplay

915 Fairplay Limit, the official spray of the 2014 World Cup

This version of the spray was invented by Brazilian Heine Allemagne in 2000, and was inspired from the idea of using a temporary shaving-foam, as football rules and regulations disallow additional permanent markings on the pitch.

Allemagne worked with a cosmetics lab to figure out a formula for the spray. Considering the conditions it would be used in, Allemagne had to ensure that the spray wouldn’t harm a player’s skin or the grass.

Although the spray consists of some unique characteristics, the key ingredient is something simple: vegetable oil. The oil is said to be the catalyst in the spray disappearing as quickly as it does.

In order to use the spray, leagues must acquire authorization as well as referee training.

QFA referees have just returned from training abroad, learning how to use the spray and how to monitor its use throughout games, a spokesperson told Doha News.

Worldwide recognition

Although the tool has been used by smaller leagues in previous years, the spray’s success during the 2014 World Cup has apparently spurred global appreciation. A number of leagues are now jumping onboard and plan to use the tool in upcoming games.

Several top leagues are expected to begin using the spray this season, including the UEFA Super Cup, Champions league and Europa League, the Premier League in England, La Liga in Spain, Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in France, Bundesliga in Germany and A-League in Australia. The spray will also be used during the European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2016, which starts in September.

Speaking to Doha News, Neji Jouini, executive director of referees committee at QFA, said that unlike a number of leagues, QFA applied for authorization before the World Cup kicked off:

“We would like to stress that QFA Referees Committee requested the provision of the vanishing spray in April 2014, before the commencement of the World Cup. QFA took the necessary procedures to supply this technology within the frame of the continuous support towards Qatari refereeing.

We in the Referees Committee are completely satisfied with implementing this useful technology in our matches.”

According to QFA, the association uses a number of up-to-date refereeing technologies, including wireless devices, additional assistant referees, an upscale system used to monitor the physical fitness of referees and installed video cameras on the pitch for immediate performance analysis during training sessions.

QFA is also kicking the season off with a new ticketing scheme. From now on, fans have the option of buying a season ticket for QR200, saving fans a total of QR60 (or three matches). The ticket is only available for the Qatar Stars League, however.

QFA has also said that season card holders will be eligible for rewards from loyalty partners Qatar Airways, InterContinental Hotels Group and Fitness First Qatar.

Tickets can be bought online or from stadium VIP entrances on match day.

Thoughts?

Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani

Doha Stadium Plus/Flickr

Effective next season, professional football teams in Qatar must consist of a maximum number of three foreign players and a minimum of eight local ones, the national football association has announced.

The number will be reduced further to two players in the 2015-2016 season, according Doha Stadium Plus, which cited a new roadmap released by the Qatar Football Association this week.

This is a change from the four-player cap that was previously in place, and comes as Qatar tries to shape a national team for the 2022 World Cup.

Speaking to reporters, QFA president Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani said that the change was made in part because many expat players appear to come to Qatar for the money. He continued, as quoted by Gulf Times:

“Foreign players are recruited at a very high cost by the clubs but often you see they don’t perform well, which is not a healthy trend. I don’t want to name names, but it is obvious that the majority of foreign players are not performing up to the standards expected of them.”

However, expats who live in Qatar for five years or more would still be eligible to play on the national team, QSL said in a statement:

“Any foreign player who resides in Qatar for five years and does not represent any other team out of the country – beginning from the 2014-15 season – can represent Qatar at the national level provided that he is worthy of a place in the national squad. We reiterate that our doors are open to all proposals to benefit football in Qatar. The fans, the players, the clubs and the working staff – we are all in the same boat. We all want to develop football in Qatar and that’s our collective goal.”

According to DSP, most football clubs in Qatar are against the new restriction. Some 15 out of the 18 teams expressed opposition, in part because of the talent foreign-born players bring in.

As part of its road map, QFA will also focus on developing young local players, training more Qatari referees and coaches and reaching out to the community to bring in fans.

Thoughts?