It’s exam time for Qatar. The first-ever FIFA Arab Cup kicks off in the Gulf nation this week, giving football fans across the world a glimpse at the country’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
The tournament marks the first year the Arab Cup has come under the FIFA umbrella. It is, though, widely considered the 10th edition of the competition and the 20th edition of the Pan Arab Football tournament established in 1953.
While 23 nations can contest the FIFA Arab Cup, this year’s tournament will consist of only 16 national teams playing a total of 32 matches. According to FIFA world rankings, the top five Arab teams in the world are: Tunisia (27th), Morocco (29th), Algeria (30th), Egypt (44th) and Qatar (46th). But which team walks away with the coveted FIFA trophy remains to be seen.
The Arab Cup also gives Qatar a unique opportunity to work out kinks ahead of the Middle East’s first World Cup. That tournament will be played across eight stadiums. Qatar has already opened five, with two more being unveiled on day one of the Arab Cup.
In this episode of The Stream we preview the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup as we ask ‘What more is needed for Qatar to score a goal as host?’.
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