The FIFA World Cup™ will be coming to the Middle East for the first time in 2022. Even before Qatar was announced as hosting the World Cup, the country has been keen to stress the many legacies that the tournament will create in the region for the years after 2022.
That legacy element in football has taken another great stride in Qatar as top U-17 teams from around the world compete in the first ever Al Kass International Cup. Emerging junior teams from top clubs such as FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Vasco Da Gama, Juventus, Ajax, Kashima Antlers, Al Jazira and Al Ahly and Qatar’s very own Aspire Qatar and Aspire International, will gather at Aspire in Doha to compete and display their skills for those seeking to witness the future global football stars.
Playing in the 2022 World Cup host nation is an exciting event for all the best young players in the world, as they dream to return in ten years to represent their national teams.
In addition, the head coaches from each team have taken time out to visit the 2022 Legacy Pavilion that was visited by the FIFA Inspection Committee during the bidding process for the World Cup. Here they were provided an opportunity to see first-hand the great advances Qatar is undergoing to ensure the hosting of a truly spectacular World Cup.
Al Kass Cup
Known as the Al Kass U-17International Cup, the competition is being organized by one of the region’s leading sports broadcasting channels, Al Dawri & Al Kass Sports Channel (Al Kass), together with the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) alongside the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee as strategic partners.
“This the first edition of an annual event that is set to further contribute to building on the foundations of a proud footballing nation up to the FIFA World Cup 2022 and beyond,” said Issa Bin Abdulla Al-Hitmi, Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the Al Kass U-17 International Cup.
The tournament is being held at the Aspire Zone where they have a strong history of hosting visiting youth football teams. Hosting such an innovative tournament to support youth development in football will give the boys valuable experience, especially like those from the Egyptian team Al Ahly who have never competed in an international tournament before. The players on display could be the future stars of world football and could be seen returning to Qatar in 2022 to play in the FIFA World Cup.
Bryan Hamilton, an Al Kass broadcaster and former Northern Ireland international, stated that this tournament is crucial for the development of young players, especially the teams based in Qatar.
“Tournaments of this sort will nurture fresh talent for the big event, Qatar 2022," he said. "It creates a developmental system through which it helps build the local teams by bringing teams from all over the world. Most importantly, these events will help improve the level of the players in the local teams."