Blossoming Community League Boosts Grassroots Football in Qatar
Established in 2016 by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), the Qatar Community Football League (QCFL) has undoubtedly contributed in the promotion of football among the local communities in Qatar. It currently hosts 40 teams, with a total of 1,300 players.
QFCL is open to members of the public, including youth and girls, and brings together players of all abilities to enjoy football on a weekly basis, with matches taking place at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ training pitches.
Mohammed Muntari, who plays for Qatar Stars League champions Al Duhail and manages Qatar Black Stars in his spare time, said that having the opportunity to play on the pitches presents a massive opportunity for football lovers who look forward to enjoying the game as a break from their day to day life.
What is most striking about the league is the high level of talent that can be seen on the pitch. For some, a community league denotes a certain level of football, but once you come and watch these games in person, you will be amazed by the quality of many of the players.
Weekly matches take place at the training pitches adjacent to the Qatar 2022 stadium in Al Rayyan, which will be inaugurated this month, on 18 December, when it hosts the Amir Cup Final between Al Sadd and Arabi.
The 40,000-capacity venue, which was built largely from reused and recycled materials from the deconstructed Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium will host seven matches – up to the round of 16 stage – during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Khaled Al Sulaiti, who plays as defensive midfielder for the College of the North Atlantic in Qatar, is also immensely proud to play on the Qatar 2022 training pitches, which feature a World Cup stadium as a backdrop. He said that as we get closer to finally seeing the world’s biggest tournament in Qatar – playing on some of the training pitches makes it feel even more tangible.
It’s a great thrill to play in this league. Despite the players being amateurs, it is brimming with talent and a great platform for emerging players in Qatar to show off their skills.
QCFL matches are 11-a-side and played on full-size pitches. Games last 60 minutes and allow players of all abilities. Omar Saad is responsible for managing the logistics of the league – and he is proud of how the matches unite people from all walks of life.
For the past four years, QCFL has offered an inclusive community platform for people to come together and enjoy the beautiful game, whilst promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Another QCFL player, Matias Freije who is also an Argentinian equine vet who plays for Al Bidda, the first division team which hosts players from Latin America, said the league is organised at a ‘world-class’ level. For amateurs who play as a hobby, he said that the games provide an incredible opportunity to be part of something so extraordinary.
SC Secretary General, HE Hassan Al Thawadi, is full of praise for QCFL and its impact on grassroots football in the country.
People from different nationalities and walks of life play in the league. They retain the uniqueness of their identity, and yet together, they come and form the Qatari society.
What the community league has done for grassroots football, he said, has been such a big boost, that hopefully, it last for many, many years.
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