DOHA: Qatar national coach Felix Sanchez exuded confidence that participating in the Copa America will boost the team’s confidence.
For the first time, Qatar has been invited to play in Latin America’s most popular tournaments. Besides the 2022 World Cup hosts Japan will be the other Asian side in the competition that runs from June 14 to July 7.
“The players are at the top of their enthusiasm to participate in this tournament. It’s a great honour for them to represent Qatar at the top level,” Sanchez said at a press conference here on Tuesday.
Qatar is clubbed with Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia in Group B while the other feature Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and Peru.
The Spaniard, who guided the Annabis to their maiden AFC Asian Cup triumph in January, thanked Qatar Football Federation (QFA) President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani for his unstinted support.
“There were challenges when I joined the team. But thanks to QFA and Sheikh Hamad we’ve been able to overcome those hardships. Today, we are one of the best in Asia, but we still have a lot of work to do,” added Sanchez, whose contract was renewed last week till the FIFA World Cup.
On the team, he said, “There’s a lot of fatigue since the season started early and still the players are busy in their respective clubs’ duty for the Amir Cup and AFC Champions League.”
Sanchez, who has also called up youngsters like Abdulaziz Al Ansari, Musab Khader and Abdullah Abdul Salam, picked up a 27-member squad that will train in USA ahead of the Copa America. It will be pruned to 23 for the tournament after the team play Brazil in a friendly on June 5.