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Timeline A history of Qatar football

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From its first match in 1970 to taking part in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, here is how football in Qatar and the national team have fared.

November 20 will be a red-letter day for Qatari football.

Its mens football team will make its World Cup debut as hosts of the tournament, taking on Ecuador at the Al Bayt Stadium to mark the opening of the 2022 World Cup.

The Maroon have been on an upward trajectory in recent years.

Here is a timeline tracking the teams, and the sports, journey and how it has established itself in the Asian football pyramid:

1960 The Qatar Football Association (QFA) is formed. Three years later, it becomes an official FIFA member.

1970 The national team plays its first official match against Bahrain in the biennial Gulf Cup, losing 2-1.

1972 The QFA launches the Qatar football league.

1974 Qatar win their first international match, beating Oman 4-0 in the second group game of the Gulf Cup. Qatar finishes third in the six-team tournament.

1975 The Maroon take part in the Asian Cup qualifiers but fail to qualify for the tournament.

1977 Qatar beat Bahrain on its World Cup qualifiers debut but finish third and fail to make it out of the group.

1980 Managed by former Barcelona and Brazil winger Evaristo, Qatar makes its first appearance at the Asia Cup.

1984 The team reaches the Gulf Cup final for the first time but loses 4-3 to Iraq on penalties.

1992 Qatar qualify for the Summer Olympics, where they beat Egypt and hold Colombia to a draw. The same year, the team wins its first-ever Gulf Cup, winning four out of its five games in the tournament.

1997 Qatar make it to the final round of qualifiers for the 1998 World Cup but miss out on qualification after losing to Saudi Arabia in the last game. A win would have secured a spot in France 1998.

2004 Win a second Gulf Cup, this time as hosts.

2006 The Maroon win their first Asian Games gold, defeating Iraq in the final.

2014 A seminal year in Qatar football as the team loses just one match the entire year and wins the West Asia Football Federation and the Gulf Cup championships.

2019 Against all odds, Qatar wins the Asian Cup for the first time. En route to the title, Qatar defeat South Korea in the quarter-finals and four-time champions Japan in the final. They concede just one goal in the entire tournament. The same year, Qatar was invited to play in the Copa America where, after an impressive 2-2 draw against Paraguay, it loses the next two games and finishes bottom of the group.

2021 The team is invited to play the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where it makes it to the semi-finals before losing 1-0 to hosts USA.

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