Have 2022 host nation Qatar ever qualified for the World Cup before?

    QATAR host the first World Cup in winter when the 2022 tournament gets underway in the Middle East.

    Felix Sanchez‘s side will face Ecuador on the opening day of the competition before coming up against Senegal and the Netherlands in Group A.

    Qatar’s forward Akram Afif celebrating after scoring against Chile in an international friendly

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    Qatar’s forward Akram Afif celebrating after scoring against Chile in an international friendlyCredit: AFP

    The hosts qualified for the 2022 World Cup due to the fact that they are the host nation, earning an automatic spot at the tournament.

    Despite impressing in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, losing in the semi-finals, Qatar are entering unfamiliar territory as they compete in the World Cup.

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    Why is Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

    Have Qatar qualified for the World Cup before?

    The game of football was first introduced to Qatar in the 1940’s and rose to popularity over the next decade, seeing a purpose built football venue built before further grounds were constructed 20 years later.

    Qatar’s football association was established in 1960 and they officially became a FIFA member association in 1963.

    However, it was not until 11 years later where the country attempted to qualify for a World Cup before their football association withdrew the entry.

    Qatar are hosting the 2022 World Cup

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    Qatar are hosting the 2022 World CupCredit: AP

    Since then, Qatar have attempted to qualify for every World Cup, dating from 1978 to 2018 and will now feature in the 2022 competition.

    Despite their best tries, Qatar have NEVER qualified for the World Cup until now, with FIFA awarding the country the right to host the 2022 tournament and being given a free qualification.

    Interestingly, Qatar played in the first two rounds of the 2022 qualifying as these World Cup qualifiers also acted as qualifying matches for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

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    The host nation of the 2022 World Cup were unbeaten as they took seven wins and a draw in qualifying to seal their space at the Asian tournament.

    Qatar came closest to qualifying for a World Cup back in 1990 after making it to the final AFC qualifying round but failed to make it to the tournament hosted by Italy.

    Making history already, Qatar will be hoping to progress through their group and prove to be a huge dark horse in their own country.

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