Kuala Lumpur: World Cup hosts Qatar are set to play in the Gold Cup next year in the United States after accepting an invitation from Concacaf, football’s governing body for North and Central America and the Caribbean.
The Asian Football Confederation issued a statement on Thursday saying the Asian Cup champions will participate in the 2021 and 2023 Gold Cup tournaments as a guest under a memorandum of understanding signed in Bahrain in 2017.
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“We saw the obvious opportunities for both confederations to help and improve each other both in terms of performances on the field - of teams, players and match officials as well as operations staff - and, just as importantly, the continued development of the game across our continents,” AFC President Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa said in a statement.
“Qatar can continue to grow their own knowledge of international football following on from last year’s AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 as well as the Copa America. We are sure everyone will benefit from Qatar’s presence in the competition.”
Qatar are the second team from Asia to play in the Gold Cup after South Korea, who participated in 2000 and 2002 before co-hosting the World Cup with Japan.
Qatar won their first Asian Cup title last year with a 3-1 win over Japan in the final in the UAE.