Qatar play two friendlies ahead of WC qualifiers
IKOLI VICTOR DOHA
The Qatar national football team is expected to have a light training session on Monday as the players prepare for an international friendly against Albania on Tuesday.
A team official disclosed on Sunday that Qatar is on a nine-day training camp in Madrid ahead of its three Asian Zone 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June.
Qatar will open its campaign on June 3, with an away fixture in Beirut against Lebanon. Five days later, a date with Asian Champions South Korea will be on the cards at the Al Sadd Stadium before the team makes a trip to Iran on June 12.
The Paulo Autuori-coached side is assembled at the Golf Academy of Madrid.
The friendly match will be held at home club of Primera Division side Rayo Vallecano de Madrid. The match will kick-off at 8:00 pm Doha time. The match venue has a seating capacity of 15,500 fans.
Qatar's next friendly will be against Palestine on May 28.
According to Autouri, the players have been given a brief rest to avoid fatigue before the friendly. He said the players have just ended a long football season back home in Qatar and needed to be carefully handled ahead of the friendlies.
Qatar midfielder Hussain Ali said, "We are enjoying our training camp. The mood in the camp is very good. We are preparing well for the friendlies and for our matches next month. The team is working hard and following the coach's instructions religiously." On Saturday, the team's training session was held in pouring rain with Autouri leading the batch of 31 players.
Abdul Rahman al Mahmoud, the team manager, said Qatar players are training twice a day.
Qatar is in Group A along side Korea Republic, Iran, Uzbekistan and Lebanon in the Final Round of Asian Zone Qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Also known as, ‘Al Anabi', Qatar has never qualified for FIFA World Cup finals.
These players in the Madrid camp are: Qasim Burhan, Baba Malick, Rajab Hamzeh, Ahmed Sufyan, Mesaad al Hamad, Hamed Ismail, Mohammed Kasola, Taher Zakaria, Khaled Saleh, Ibrahim Maged, Ibrahim al Ghanem, Marconi, Khaled Muftah, Wisam Rizik, Younes Ali, Talal Albloushi, Magid Siddiq, Abdulla Taleb Afifa, Hussain Ali, Abdulaziz Hatem, Lawrence Quaye, Adel Lamy, Fabioa Cesar, Khalfan Ibrahim, Hassan Alhaydous, Mohammed Alsayed Jeddou, Maged Mohammed, Mohammed Razak, Sebastian Soria, Jarralah al Marri and Yusef Ahmed.