The hosts leave nothing to chance: Hardly the national team of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had in the quarter-finals of the Asian championship title defenders Australia 1:0 defeat, as the authorities bought up in Abu Dhabi a short-hand all over-the-counter Tickets for the semi-finals on Tuesday. The national sports Association distributed the tickets free of charge to the country people. Authorities, schools and universities to close early so as many people as possible can follow the game that kicks off at 18 o’clock local time.

The rulers in Abu Dhabi want to make sure that all of the 37,000 spectators at the Mohammed bin Zayed stadium on Tuesday, the host. From their point of view, the game is the anticipated final.

Emirati football fans (at the quarter-final against Australia)

The reason: In the semi-finals of Abu Dhabi, the UAE meeting in the afternoon on Qatar. For the Emirates, it’s about more than the finals against Japan. The media before a whip, as were 90 minutes from the Gulf war. Almost two years ago, the ruler of Abu Dhabi and Dubai kürten namely Qatar to be its archenemy. Together with Saudi-Arabia and some other Arab countries broke off diplomatic relations with the rulers in Doha and imposed a Blockade against Qatar. Officially, Saudi accuse Arabia and the UAE, Qatar Emir Tamim, the support of terrorist organizations, and too close to Iran. But in the Background there is also the political and economic supremacy in the Gulf.

coach Sanchez Bas is the father of success

The power struggle overshadows the Asia championship in the UAE. The hosts refused to allow Fans and officials from Qatar, the entry to the tournament. Nevertheless, the AFC Cup is already a success for the next world Cup host: For the first Time it has made Qatar one of the best four Teams in Asia. In a most impressive manner: Five victories, with 12:0 goals, the balance sheet is to play three preliminary rounds, eighth – and quarter-finals. On the way to the semi-finals the team defeated, among others, the world Cup participants Saudi Arabia (2:0) and South Korea (1:0).

The success is mainly the work of coach Felix Sanchez Bas. The Spaniard began his coaching career at the age of 20 in La Masia, the youth Academy of FC Barcelona, and was changed in 2006 at the Aspire Academy. This is the national sports Academy in Doha, to the talents from all over the world, and promoted to be seen. 2013 Sánchez Bas took over the U19 selection of Qatar, he led a year later to win at the Asia championship. Since 2017, he trained the national team.

Félix Sánchez Bas

Sánchez Bas relies on a stable of Defensive, safe passing game and quick switching. With this tactic, won Qatar in November for world Cup participants Switzerland 1:0 and it is well deserved. Shortly afterwards, they reached a 2:2 against Iceland.

And with a Team that consists almost exclusively of native-born Qataris, With the exception of the native Portuguese Ró-Ró, born in France of Karim Boudiaf, the native Iraqi man, she Bassam Rawi and the native Algerian Boualem Khoukhi all 23 players were born in the squad in Qatar. The times, in which, the Emirate tried to recruit Ailton, or other seasoned professionals, without the obligation to play for their home country for the national team, are long gone.

A sport system of the GDR

Instead, puts Qatar at the Aspire Academy. Since 2004, the young athletes train under the best conditions. Sport has become in Qatar, a matter of national importance. Meanwhile, almost every school is sighted child, and talents for specific sports tested. A System that is reminiscent of the promotion of Sports in the GDR.

Almost all of the national player of the Aspire Academy have gone through. The core of the team defenders Rawi (21), midfielder Salem al-Hajri (22), striker Akram Afif (22) and with seven goals so far, best striker of the tournament Almoez Ali (22) plays together for years, first at the Academy, then in the national Junior teams, now in the national team. In just under four years, at the world Cup in their own country, to reach out to the team, Zenit. The Asiencup shows that the Team is on a good way – no matter how the semi-final against the UAE runs out.

Almoez Ali

To support by a neutral spectator you are not allowed to hope on Tuesday, but expressions of support for Qatar have been banned in the UAE, namely the law and will be punished with up to 15 years in prison. In the words of attorney-General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi: “We will proceed vigorously against any sympathies or any kind of bias for Qatar shows, be it in social media or in any written, visual and verbal Form.”

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.