Sixteen of the Arab world’s top national teams are set to meet in Qatar for the first pan-Arab tournament to be held under the FIFA umbrella. The FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021™ will not only showcase the region’s passion for the beautiful game, but it will also serve as a vital opportunity to test operations and facilities ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.
Being held a year before the first FIFA World Cup™ in the Middle East and Arab world takes place, the FIFA Arab Cup will see 32 matches played over 19 days from 30 November to 18 December. Six Qatar 2022 venues will stage the competition, including Al Bayt Stadium and Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, which will both be inaugurated on the opening matchday.
The final of the FIFA Arab Cup will take place exactly a year before the FIFA World Cup final – on 18 December, Qatar National Day, which is a public holiday.
Here is what you need to know about the upcoming FIFA Arab Cup.
Tickets for the FIFA Arab Cup are now available on a first-come, first-served basis at FIFA.com/tickets. From mid-November, tickets will be available for purchase over the counter at the FIFA Venue Ticketing Centre located at Doha Exhibition Centre (Al Qassar Metro Station). Visa, FIFA’s Official Payment Services Partner, is the preferred payment method.
Match tickets can also be purchased from one of the following locations:
Opening hours for these locations to buy tickets are:
Currently, tickets for all 32 matches are available. This includes a selection of affordable category 4 tickets costing QAR 25 each (Qatar residents only) for all matches, except the semi-finals and final.
As with Qatar 2022, fans will be able to attend more than one match per day, as long as there is enough time to get to the second stadium using public transport. A list of compatible matches is available here.
All fans will be required to have an approved Hay'ya (Fan ID) application number to enter Qatar and the FIFA Arab Cup stadiums. All fans will be required to collect their physical Hay'ya (Fan ID) smart card from the Fan ID Service Centre.
The Fan ID is a smart-technology identification card designed to provide fans with the ultimate experience in Qatar and will serve as a means of identification and provide access to tournament stadiums in combination with a valid match ticket. One Hay'ya Card (Fan ID) will last each fan for the entire tournament.
Fans travelling from abroad can use their Hay'ya Card (Fan ID) to enter Qatar multiple times – provided they carry a valid passport recognised by Qatar. It will also provide ticket holders with access to a number of services and benefits relating to transport, tourism and others.
Fans should apply for their Hay'ha (Fan ID) once they have paid for their match tickets and have received their ticket application number by email. Hay'ya Card (Fan ID) applications can be submitted online via FAC21.qa.
There will be a traffic closure in both directions of Corniche Street from 26 November to 4 December 2021, in conjunction with Qatar's hosting of the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™. Corniche Street will be closed to host a number of activations, including the 11th Qatar International Food Festival, which will take place at the Corniche as part of efforts to provide a unique experience for fans during the tournament. There will also be eight interactive installations, a musical water show, Qatar's largest LED installation and sound shows on Corniche from Al Masrah Park to Pearl Monument.
There will be a road closure of the left turn from Corniche Street to Al Rumaila Street and from Corniche to Mohammed Bin Thani Street until 8 December 2021, as shown on the map below:
Road users are encouraged to use alternative modes of transport, such as those available through Qatar Rail and Mowasalat (Karwa), during the closure period to reduce the impact on the flow of traffic.
During the Corniche Street closure,
Even though Corniche Street will be closed from 26 November 2021 to 4 December 2021, the Doha Metro will be operating as normal to get you to your destination. However, there are some updates to some of the Metrolink services.
During the Corniche Street closure,
With the upcoming closure of the Corniche road from 26 November 2021 to 4 December 2021, in conjunction with Qatar's hosting of the FIFA Arab Cup 2021™, Mowasalat Qatar has modified its bus routes, timings and dates. Check them out so you can navigate your way around the matches and events: https://www.iloveqatar.net/news/sports/mowasalat-qatar-bus-services-fifa-arab-cup-qatar-2021
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, required safeguards to protect the health and safety of all involved in the competition will be in place. All attendees must follow the travel advice from the Qatari authorities and the latest guidance from Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH).
All spectators must be fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the MOPH. Fans will also need to show their EHTERAZ app upon arrival at the stadium.
Children under the age of 12 that are not vaccinated must provide evidence of a negative PCR test within 48 hours or a negative rapid antigen test within 24 hours, prior to each match. Further restrictions may apply. For more information, please visit the MOPH website.
International visitors are advised to familiarize themselves with the COVID-19 protocols in both their country of origin and Qatar before travelling.
Additional information on COVID-19-related safety measures to access FIFA Arab Cup stadiums will be available at FIFA.com. To date, ticket holders are required to be fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the MOPH.
All six stadiums have been designed to be accessible to fans with disabilities. In addition to all venues offering a barrier-free user journey, including the provision of accessible seating, some stadiums will be outfitted with sensory rooms to provide a quiet space for fans with neurobehavioural needs.
An accessibility feature that will be introduced for the first time in the Arabic language will be audio descriptive commentary, available at select stadiums, the service will provide blind and partially sighted fans with complimentary narration of games delivered directly to their smartphones.
Once fans with disabilities arrive at stadiums on match day, they will be met by a dedicated and trained team assigned to receive fans with disabilities, usher them to their seat and ensure that their needs are met to ensure that they have an inclusive experience.
Disabled fans and fans with limited mobility wishing to see these unique venues up close, as well as to witness the best Arab football nations duelling for the title of the first FIFA Arab Cup™ champions, can book Accessibility Tickets via FIFA’s ticketing portal.
Accessibility Tickets are a dedicated allocation of tickets for which disabled people and people with limited mobility can apply, and are offered in the following types:
With the sole exception of Easy Access Extra-Width tickets, successful applicants for Accessibility Tickets will receive one complimentary companion ticket. The companion will be seated as close as possible to the Accessibility Ticket customer. However, the exact location of the seat cannot be guaranteed – FIFA cannot ensure that the companion’s seat will be adjacent to that of the Accessibility Ticket customer.
Please note that, as part of the ticket application process, customers who apply for Accessibility Tickets are required to submit proof‑of‑eligibility documents that are commonly and widely accepted in their country of residence. Such proof of eligibility must also be presented upon ticket collection (if applicable) and, upon request, at the entrance to the stadium. Permits for accessible parking will not be accepted as valid proof.
The number of Accessibility Tickets is limited due to the stadiums’ configuration. Therefore, please be courteous to other fans and only apply for Accessibility Tickets if you truly require them.
During this last-minute sales phase, which will run until the end of the tournament, Accessibility Tickets will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and confirmed immediately after payment.
The FIFA Arab Cup will showcase six of the eight venues that will stage the FIFA World Cup next year. This includes Al Thumama Stadium, which was inaugurated on 22 October when it hosted the 49th Amir Cup final.
Al Thumama is one of five 40,000-seat stadiums that will stage matches during the tournament, with Ahmad Bin Ali, Al Janoub and Education City also playing host to the competition. The fully-demountable Ras Abu Aboud will stage six matches, including the third-place play-off.
With a capacity of 60,000, Al Bayt will be the largest of the six Qatar 2022 venues to feature during the FIFA Arab Cup. Based in Al Khor, the spectacular stadium will stage five tournament matches, including the final on 18 December.
The prohibited items list as per the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Safety & Security Operations Committee include:
Involving the best national teams from the Arab world, the FIFA Arab Cup 2021 will see 16 teams from Africa and Asia battle it out for the title.
Two spectacular stadiums will host their first competitive matches on the opening day of the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021. Al Bayt will stage the Group A encounter between hosts Qatar and Bahrain (kick-off 7:30 PM local time), while Stadium 974 will host the United Arab Emirates versus Syria match in Group B (kick-off 10 PM local time).
The tournament will begin with a round-robin group stage, involving four groups of four teams each, from 30 November to 7 December. Group A sees hosts Qatar drawn with Gulf rivals Iraq, Oman and Bahrain, while Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Syria and Mauritania will contest Group B. Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Palestine headline Group C, while North African powerhouses Algeria and Egypt are in Group D alongside Lebanon and Sudan.
The four group winners and runners-up will advance to the knockout stage, with the quarter-finals taking place on 10 and 11 December before the semi-finals are played on 15 December. The third-place play-off and final will take place on 18 December.
Check out the match schedule here: https://digitalhub.fifa.com/m/3bd04ef4cc9ad0dc/original/fac2021_matchschedule_22102021_v18A_for-international-use.pdf
A total of 368 players are expected to take part in the competition with some big names to compete in Qatar. Hosts Qatar will feature top scorer Almoez Ali, captain Hassan Al Haydos and the 2019 AFC Player of the Year Akram Afif in the tournament.
The African champions Algeria squad includes Yacine Brahimi and El Arabi Soudani, who both played at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, along with Qatar-based Baghdad Bounedjah, scorer of the winning goal in the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
Tunisia will arrive in Doha with an experienced squad that includes players who featured at the last FIFA World Cup in Russia; Farouk Ben Mustapha, Yassine Meriah, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef, Ali Maaloul, Ferjani Sassi and Naim Sliti. Carlos Queiroz’s Egypt will meanwhile rely on the vast experience of top goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy.
There will be plenty of other stars that fans will be able to watch playing across the six FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ stadiums including UAE’s Ali Mabkhout and Ismail Matar, former FIFA U-20 World Cup Adidas Golden Ball winner, in addition to Syria’s top striker Omar Al Soma and Feras Al Brikan of Saudi Arabia.
The squad lists of all 16 FIFA Arab Cup teams are now available HERE.
The gleaming FIFA Arab Cup™ Trophy has touched down in Qatar. The trophy, which has a solid gold base and features Arabic calligraphy and a map of the Arab world, was unveiled during a special event at Hamad International Airport.
Qatar will host the FIFA Arab Cup Trophy Experience between now and the start of the tournament. The trophy will be visiting a host of attractions across the country, including Aspire Park, Souq Waqif, Katara, the Mall of Qatar, Doha Festival City and Msheireb Downtown Doha.
The trophy will also visit a number of schools and businesses.
RELATED: FIFA Arab Cup™ Trophy to be showcased at tourist attractions across Qatar
The FIFA Referees Committee has appointed 52 match officials (12 referees, 24 assistant referees and 16 video match officials) from 27 countries and all six confederations to officiate the first FIFA Arab Cup, to be held in Qatar
The appointed match officials will be closely monitored before and during the competition by a team of technical specialists, including FIFA referee and video match official instructors, fitness coaches, physiotherapists, and sports scientists, in order to provide the referees, assistant referees and video match officials with the best possible preparation and support.
Among the appointed Arab referees are Qatar's Abdullah Al Marri, Egypt's Ibrahim Nour El-Din, and Morocco's Radwan Gayed, all of whom were selected among the video referees.
5,000 volunteers will participate in the 10th edition FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021, and were selected in accordance with set standards, and the availability of professional conditions representing different nationalities, including 350 volunteers from outside Qatar, some of them had experienced in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The volunteers will provide the necessary support in all operational aspects related to organizing the tournament according to disciplines such as hospitality, welcoming and guiding fans to their seats, information services, audience and organization services, transportation support, media services, tickets and protocol, Al-Mughaisib said, adding that 78% of the volunteers who will participate in organizing the Arab Cup are males, while 22% are females, 85% of them are Qatari citizens and residents, and 15% are foreign volunteers from outside the State.
Source and cover image credit: Press Release; QNA; FIFA Press Release; MOPH; SC; MOI
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