Qatar has been invited to play in the 2019 Copa America.
Yes, you read that correctly. Qatar is one of the invited countries/states that will feature in next year’s tournament. According to a report by Globo Sport (who quoted the general director of Aspire Academy, Ivan BRAVO), the team will participate in the tournament which will be held next year in Brazil.
A total of 16 teams will play in the 2019 Copa with a total of six countries being invited (Qatar being one of those invitees). There were rumors early last year that Portugal and Spain would take part in the competition but that idea seems to have fallen through. Instead, the other countries which are rumored to be invited are Mexico, the United States, China, Japan and one of Australia or South Korea.
This would be a test for Qatar, three years before hosting the biggest tournament in the world, the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Here’s what BRAVO had to say about it:
“It will be the first time that Qatar has faced teams such as Brazil and Argentina. It will be a unique opportunity for the national team to gain experience, so that it can compete on the right level at the 2022 World Cup.”
Argentina played Qatar once which came in 2005 as the Albiceleste picked up a 3-0 win with goals coming by Juan Roman RIQUELME, Julio CRUZ and Roberto AYALA. Jorge SAMPAOLI (should he still be coaching the team come next year’s tournament) will (hopefully) have a new set of players for the tournament as this will be a key time in the progress the team will make in attempting to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar.
Here was Argentina’s line-up for that match:
Roberto ABBONDANZIERI; Roberto AYALA, Walter SAMUEL, Juan Pablo SORIN; Maxi RODRIGUEZ, Martin DEMICHELIS, Sebastian BATTAGLIA, Daniel BILOS; Juan Roman RIQUELME; Lionel MESSI and Javier SAVIOLA