Doha, 14 June 2023 - Director of Development Department of the Qatar Football Association (QFA) Fahd Thani Al Zaraa stressed that there are great efforts to develop the Qatari football system as well as the local training system, enhancing the first team as well as age group teams' performance in continental and international competitions, on top of which reaching Paris 2024 Olympics and 2026 World Cup.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Al Zaraa indicated that reaching those objectives goes through working with the age groups and U-10 sector as well as enhancing the efficiency of trainers, activities, and programs related to holding U-10 category up to youths category competitions through setting up their regulations, in addition to holding training programs for coaches of various specializations, including football coaches, fitness coaches, and goalkeeper coaches.
He said that QFA has a joint education agreement with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to recognize the training courses organized by the QFA, thus granting qualification licenses for coaches to work in clubs.
In addition, the QFA supervises the support granted to clubs by providing the budgets to manage activities and sporting teams. QFA also acts as a link to coordinate with sporting organizations within the framework of developing football, especially Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence, which is specialized in developing a group of players qualified to play at higher levels and national teams.
He pointed out that the joint coordination between QFA and Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence is to set a fixed calendar that does not conflict with the academy's agenda and, at the same time, serves the national team players to obtain organized training programs, whether QFA programs or programs developed in cooperation with clubs.
He pointed out that the QFA Development Department supervised the development of programs that qualify clubs for opportunities to discover players in schools, which is the first source of human capital and talent discovery. Therefore, coordination is made with Qatar School Sports Association (QSSA) to manage these activities and to hold external events to attract young talents.
He reviewed the department's plan to develop local coaches who possess the competence and to give them priority to obtain training sciences, as the focus was on retired players who have great experience in international matches and major tournaments to provide them with academic qualification programs to employ their capabilities and to learn about most of the sciences related to training in various disciplines, whether Sports psychology, how to deal with players or the physical fitness side, follow-up and update the coach's ideas, and know the advanced methods in the science of training, through the use of external training expertise to supervise training courses.
In the same context, Fahd Thani Al Zaraa indicated that among the objectives of the training courses organized by the QFA Development Department is to qualify the training cadres on both field and professional levels in light of a sequential training methodology to qualify coaches to lead football teams in various categories, up to the professional category, through an agreement signed with the AFC in 2019, after reviewing the training systems in the QFA, and it has seen a great turn out, whether from coaches inside or outside Qatar from all over the Arab world.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency, Director of Development Department of the Qatar Football Association (QFA) Fahd Thani Al Zaraa stated that programs are categorized based on performance and knowledge levels, whereby players keep expanding their knowledge and skills as they advance within the categories.
In this context, Al Zaraa said that Qatar has qualified football experts capable of training coaches, with the training professional being tailored for coaches heading professional and national teams.
He also highlighted that many renown senior coaches received their professional training in Qatar, among them are Moroccan national team coach Walid Regragui, who ranked fourth in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, former coach of the Qatari and Algerian national teams Djamel Belmadi, former coach of Al Sailiya and the Tunisian national team Sami Trabelsi, along with many other national coaches, such as Younes Ali, Wissam Rizk, Nabil Anwar, Ali Rahma, Mirghani Al Zein, Majdi Siddiq, and Abdulaziz Al Sulaiti.
The QFA Director of Development Department called on national team coaches to double their efforts, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in training methods, create a unique philosophy and a clear plan supported by science, amongst others.
Al Zaraa stated that cooperation with football clubs comes through setting foundations, rules and regulations, appointing coaches at the club level in accordance to the Development Department's rules, and holding continuous training workshops, amongst other duties.
Regarding the participation of the Qatar U-17 national team in the AFC Asian Cup, to kick off in Thailand on Thursday, with Qatar's opening match against South Korean on Friday, The QFA Director of Development Department said that the fact the team made it to the continental tournament is yet another success for Qatari football competing on prominent levels., whose objective is to expose and train national team players on a continental level, allowing footballers to refine their skills and competitiveness.
He said that the Olympic team's participation in the Toulon Tournament in France is part of the plan to prepare the team members before taking on the challenge of the continental qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics, especially given Qatari football's absence from the Olympic Games' football competitions since the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, stressing that great work has been made for the Olympic team's participation in the next Olympics, especially that Doha will host the continental finals early next year.
Al Zaraa said that the number one goal for Qatari football is to make it to upcoming World Cup, followed by the second goal of participating in the Olympics, aside from its more general goal of being present at all continental tournaments. He added that all programs and participations prepare and train the national team to achieve its goals.
In concluding his interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) Fahd Thani Al Zaraa said that the first team started a new era with the joining of Portuguese choach Carlos Queiroz, who is expected to make an important contribution and elevate the first team's level, in addition to leading it to the FIFA World Cup 2026, and competing in the World Cup, as well as defending Qatar's continental title in the upcoming AFC Asian Cup.
He also considered that the participation of Qatar's first national football team in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup in the United States will be an ideal training ahead of the AFC Asian Cup, which Qatar will host next January.