ABU DHABI, February 2 -- Qatar stunned four-time champion Japan 3-1 to win the AFC Asian Cup for the first time as striker Almoez Ali scored his record-breaking ninth goal in the tournament here on Friday.
Qatar were crowned the Asian champion with a seven-game winning streak, scoring 19 goals and just conceded one. "We made the history for our country, this is a huge achievement for us and we should be proud of it. I want to thank all of the people in Qatar for their support," said Qatar coach Felix Sanchez. Almoez Ali, the top scorer of the tournament, opened the scoring after 12 minutes with an acrobatic volley assisted by Akram Hassan Afif, who delivered his ninth assist in the tournament. Ali broke Iranian legend Ali Daei's record of 8 goals in a single Asian Cup.
BEIRUT, January 20 -- Lebanon used an Arab economic summit on Sunday to call for the return of Syrian refugees to safe areas of their war-torn country, where the nearly eight-year civil war is still underway despite a recent series of government victories.
President Michel Aoun told the opening session that Lebanon is overwhelmed by the presence of Syrian and Palestinian refugees, who make about half the population of the tiny country, which is struggling with an economic crisis. The meeting is the first economic and development summit to be held since 2013, and comes as Syria, Yemen and Libya remain gripped by violence and Iraq confronts a massive reconstruction challenge after its costly victory over the Islamic State group. Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said nearly half of all refugees “come from our Arab world.”
Qatar’s ruler attended the summit, which has been marred by divisions over readmitting Syria to the Arab League. But Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani arrived shortly before the summit and left minutes after it began.
Qatar has been one of the main backers of Syrian insurgents trying to overthrow President Bashar Assad. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have reopened their embassies in Damascus, and the visit by Qatar’s ruler is widely seen as a first step to restoring relations with Syria. Sheikh Tamim and the president of Mauritania were the only heads of state from the 22-member Arab League who came to Beirut to attend the summit. Other countries sent lower-level delegations. The other leaders’ absence appeared to be a snub to Lebanon, where groups led by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah had insisted that Assad should be invited.
“We regret the absences of some brotherly kings and presidents who have their justified excuses,” Aoun said without elaborating. “We call for a safe return of Syrian refugees to their country, especially to stable areas that can be reached and areas of low levels of violence,” Aoun said in his opening address. “This should not be linked to reaching a political solution.”
Lebanon is home to some 1 million Syrian refugees, or a quarter of the country’s population.
DOHA, December 16 -- The 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium will be the largest of the tournament, which will kick off on 21 November 2022.
Officials in Qatar revealed the design for Lusail Stadium, the venue at which the opening and final games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place. The 80,000-capacity venue will be the largest stadium of the tournament, which will kick off on November 21, 2022, and be the first to take place in the Arab world. Located 15km north of central Doha, the stadium will form the centrepiece of Lusail City, the construction of which is about 90 percent completed, according to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), the body tasked with getting Qatar ready to host the World Cup. Designed by British firm Foster + Partners, the venue's golden facade takes its inspiration from Arab architecture and the region's tradition of craftsmanship.
Construction of the stadium, which is being delivered by a joint venture of Qatari firm HBK Contracting Company and China Railway Construction Corporation, is well under way. With the substructure complete, concrete superstructure and infrastructure works are progressing in all seating zones, while internal works have commenced in the west stand. Construction of the stadium is set to be completed in 2020. The venue is the eighth stadium design unveiled by the SC. Khalifa International Stadium became the first tournament-ready venue in 2017, while two more stadiums will be completed early next year - Al Wakrah Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium - Al Khor City.
Construction of the stadium is set to be completed in 2020. The venue is the eighth stadium design unveiled by the SC. Khalifa International Stadium became the first tournament-ready venue in 2017, while two more stadiums will be completed early next year - Al Wakrah Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium - Al Khor City.
Beating bid rivals Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States, Qatar won the hosting rights in 2010, which put the Gulf state under increasing scrutiny over the treatment of migrant workers. To date, there have been three work-related fatalities and nine non-work related deaths of workers engaged in the construction of Qatar's World Cup stadiums, according to the tournament organisers. But the United Nations International Labour Organization dismissed all complaints lodged against Qatar following a new draft bill that introduced a minimum wage and legal protection for the foreign workforce, approved by the government last year. At least 26,000 people are directly involved in the construction of the proposed stadiums. Contractors involved in the World Cup projects have agreed to reimburse more than $14.4m to the thousands of workers who had paid recruitment fees before moving to Qatar.