Doha, 2 December 2023 - Many fans will remember the family of five desert rodents unveiled as the official mascots of the Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ from 2011. Saboog, Tmbki, Freha, Zkriti and Traeneh will once again be the face of Asia’s most prestigious football tournament, after making their debut twelve years ago when Qatar last hosted the AFC Asian Cup™. The familiar characters were presented as mascots for the Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ at a special ceremony in Doha.
For Hassan Al Kuwari, Marketing and Communications Executive Director of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ Local Organizing Committee (LOC), the return of the mascots to this year’s edition of the tournament is a testament to a long legacy of excellence in hosting mega sporting events in Qatar.
“The mascots of the 2023 Asian Cup invoke wonderful memories from 2011, but also embody the excitement and energy of what will certainly be an amazing competition,” said Al Kuwari. “The five characters are inspired by Qatar’s natural environment and present us with yet another wonderful opportunity to showcase our culture and heritage to football fans from around the world.”
The characters are the creation of Qatari artist Ahmed Al Maadheed. When working on the characters, Al Maadheed wanted to attribute different characteristics to each of the family members, much like the different roles football players take on during a football match. The artist also wanted to create a set of characters that resemble a traditional household in Qatar, while paying tribute to all four corners of country.
“From the very beginning, we wanted to do something that inspired families and young people to be a part of the Asian Cup,” said Al Maadheed. “We wanted to do dig deep into our rich ecological heritage and find an animal that could represent the best of what happens on the pitch and also in our daily lives, and that was the jerboa.”
Al Maadheed added: “We decided to present a family of jerboas, each with its own distinctive personality, as a way of acknowledging the importance of teamwork in football, but also acknowledging the importance of family life to societies in Qatar.”
The characters have been brought to life for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ through an anime-inspired animation produced by Katara Studios. In the buildup to the event, and throughout the tournament, which takes place between 12 January and 10 February 2024, audiences will be treated to an animated work that invokes the nostalgia of iconic cartoons of the past. The animation was directed by Fahad Al Kuwari, with the song performed by Qatari artist Dana Al Meer and the legendary Tarek Al Arabi Tourgane.
The mascots of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™ are Saboog, Tmbki, Freha, Zkriti and Traeneh. Since first making an appearance 2011, they have grown up, matured, and are now ready for a new edition of the AFC Asian Cup™.
The first in the series of five mascots is Saboog, the blue colored son of the family. His name is derived from the commonly used word to refer to the jerboa in Qatar. Second is Freha, the pink-colored eldest daughter of the family named after an area with the same name in the north of Qatar. Third is Tmbiki, a yellow-colored younger son named after the Timbic region in the east of the country. The parents are Zikriti and Traeneh, a green-colored father and a purple-colored mother respectively. They are named after Zikrit in Qatar’s west, and Tranaa in the north of the country.
For more information about the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023™, visit http://asiancup2023.qa and follow @Qatar2023 on X, formerly known as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.