FIFA Arab Cup 2021: How the Event Was Perceived Among ASD’s Arab Community

FIFA Arab Cup 2021: How the Event Was Perceived Among ASD’s Arab Community

Omar Glaoui, Reporter

Founded in 1963, the Arab Cup is a regional football tournament within the Arab World, with the first-ever tournament being held in Lebanon. Last year marked an important milestone for the tournament after FIFA recognized and agreed to host the tournament, here in Qatar. Due to this, ASD Times interviewed juniors from a variety of Arab states, to get their thoughts on this year’s cup.

 

R. Ayeche, Algeria (‘23):

“The Arab cup to me represented Qatar testing all their planning and facilities for the World Cup, but more importantly it represents a celebration of unity in the MENA region. Also, as an Algerian, seeing my country win the cup and being there in the stadium was extremely enjoyable and made me feel proud about my identity”

 

A. Gewily, Egypt (‘23): 

“Considering I’m a huge football fan, the Arab Cup meant a lot to me as it pinned the best Arab countries against each other. When it comes to my country’s performance, however, I felt underwhelmed, as we played poorly in the last two games that we featured in, and couldn’t even get third overall”

 

J. Zarkout, Lebanon (‘23): 

“The 2021 edition of the Arab Cup in Qatar was a huge success with the organization, facilities used, modes of transportation, and overall proved Qatar to be ready for the 2022 World Cup. I highly value the Arab Cup, as it manages to bring joy and happiness to Arabs all across the Arab World at a time when our region is ravaged by conflict. It is one of the few things that manage to unite Arabs in my mind. My country, Lebanon, was placed in what was viewed by many as the hardest group, as we faced giants like Algeria and Egypt. Despite that, we managed to put up respectable performances against the two and managed to collect a win against Sudan”

 

M. Elkhidr, Sudan (‘23):

“Although I don’t really watch football, I could tell that this was an important sporting event for Qatar and the Arab World, but Sudan’s performance was poor. Although we aren’t known for our footballing abilities, it was annoying to watch us play as we did, especially our loss against Egypt, which is our neighbor and typically top rival”

 

Z. Asfour, Palestine (‘23):

“To me, the Arab Cup simply means a competition where Arab teams compete to win. My country of origin, Palestine, didn’t really do too well since it did not qualify for the group stage, but it did manage to come in third in our group which is better than nothing in my eyes. Algeria zindabad” 

 

A. Almashegbeh, Jordan (‘23):

“The Arab Cup is a nice tournament where Arabs can express culture and root for their home countries, even in Qatar, as a lot of people here are Arabs from all around the Arab World. It’s also a chance for my country to express itself. Jordan’s performance was not bad but I was disappointed that they got eliminated that early”

 

I. Al-Hassani, Iraq (‘23):

“The Arab Cup means a lot to me because it represents a competition in which the best players from each Arab state compete to try to win a trophy. Unfortunately, my country had a horrible performance, especially considering we historically have been the most successful country in this competition, having won it four times”