Qatar is a guest at the Copa América - Sport
- Since 1993, countries from other continents have participated in the Copa América. This time next to Japan is also Qatar. In the first game there was a draw against Paraguay.
- The Autocrats in Qatar have been cultivating football for a while longer than the foreign policy "soft power" instrument par excellence.
- At the end of October 2018, Qatar Airways concluded a contract with the South America Association until 2022; the airline is sponsoring the continent's two club tournaments, the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Sudamericana - although the line does not serve any destination in South America at all.
Argentine coach Eduardo Berizzo seems a little out of place at the tournament, which bears the name Copa América. It is the oldest and most traditional continental tournament in world football. first held in 1916, its 46th edition is currently taking place in Brazil. Berizzo's stinging is because his current team, the national team of Paraguay, in the Estádio Maracanã of Rio de Janeiro against Qatar and only a 2-2 scored.
Qatar? Yes, Qatar, current Asian champion and guest at the South American Zoo. The Copa América, Berizzo judged after the game, should only be fed by American teams: "I have never seen a South American team invited to the European Championship." There's never been one. On the other hand, Copa América's participation in teams whose countries are not members of the South American Confederation Conmebol has even been a tradition - since 1993.
At that time two North American teams were allowed to play, Mexico and the USA; to increase the field to twelve and create a tournament format that is easier to handle. The Mexicans have since twice in the final, so far, the subcontinent was prevented from seeing the trophy wander into strange climes. The list of those who participated in the Copa América has been extended: Costa Rica, Honduras and Jamaica have been on show, as have the Japanese, who are also present, with the core of the team at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020 should play. So now Qatar. Both Japan and Qatar will each receive $ 1.25 million in entry fees. But that's not what the Qataris are all about.
The glitter of football can cost a lot for Qatar
"The Copa América will show us where we stand," said Félix Sánchez, Catalan coach Qatar, looking forward to beating Lionel Messi's Argentinean and Colombian James Rodríguez. Sánchez has worked for a long time in the junior department of FC Barcelona and in 2006 joined the Aspire Academy, which has set one of the world's most modern and largest training centers in the desert in Doha. There trained Sánchez, 47, after Barça pattern young players. Some of them have made it to the national team - and proved on Sunday they can at least keep up.
After a nervous start, they were penalized by a penalty (Óscar Cardozo / 2nd minute) and a 0-2 defeat by Derlis González (55.). A splendid goal from Almoez Ali, who sank the ball from 20 yards into the air, and a shot from Boualem Khoukhi (77) brought Qatar a deserved equalizer. As with the Asian Cup, which defeated Japan 3: 1 in the final, they liked combination and possession football. "Nobody is going to say that a giant surprise team is growing up," said the renowned Brazilian columnist Paulo Vinicius Coelho. Probably, "that a team without talent and tradition tried to enforce their own style in the Maracanã". Since teams were said to be worse.
Such praise is likely to please the authorities in Qatar. The rulers of the emirate have been practicing football for some time the It is no coincidence that they were pumping millions of euros into the functionary scene of the world federation Fifa in order to attract the direction of the 2022 World Cup. Recently, the importance of elite sport as a propaganda tool has increased again: Qatar has been isolated in the region since 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt block the dwarf state, accuse him, among other things, to finance Islamist terror, which Katar vehemently denies. And the allegations of human rights violations and the exploitation of workers in the construction of the World Cup stadiums for 2022 have to some extent accompanied Qatar since they secured their World Cup status.