The Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino has confirmed that 22 Arab nations have signed to take part in the FIFA Arab Cup next year.
He made the confirmation during his visit to Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Tuesday, November 24.
The tournament, which would unite millions of football fans across the Middle East and Arab world would be held from 1-18 December 2021 in the majority of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums, with a total of 32 matches being held over 18 days.
The Asian Football Confederation nations to compete in the tournament are, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) nations to compete in the tournament are, Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan and Tunisia.
The tournament would be delivered by FIFA, Qatar Football Association (QFA), the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC.
The tournament would serve as an opportunity to test operations and facilities ahead of Qatar 2022 World Cup which would take place in the same timeslot as the World Cup.
The finals of both the FIFA Arab Cup and FIFA World Cup will take place exactly one year apart -each on 18 December, Qatar National Day, which is a public holiday.
Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President said, “We are delighted that all 22 teams from across the Arab world have agreed to take part in the FIFA Arab Cup 2021, and we are looking forward to seeing the region’s best teams battle it out to see which nation will become champion.
Through football, this tournament will unite over 450 million people from across the region, and we are confident the FIFA Arab Cup will help to build excitement across the region as we edge ever nearer to hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world in 2022.”
The QFA President, H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani, said “Qatar looks forward to welcoming 22 Arab national teams and their fans, and giving them the opportunity to be one of the select teams that will experience what Qatar has prepared to host the FIFA World Cup.”
He added “The tournament will give our national team the chance to enhance their preparations ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, by going up against some of the best teams in the region.”
“Fans from across the region will be treated to the same world-class experience that awaits fans from around the world when they fly to Qatar for the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
We welcome our friends from the Middle East and the Arab world to join us in what will be an important milestone and a final test of our preparations, only one year away from us hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the region,” added the QFA President.