EXPERT coaching, excellent training facilities and economic resources are some of the important factors that help a country develop a strong national team. But, as Qatar would’ve learnt it the hard way after losing to Uzbekistan again on Tuesday, nothing is more important than top-class administration and management.
We’ve done almost everything possible in our bid to qualify for the World Cup before making our guaranteed debut in 2022. We hired some of the best coaches from Latin America and Europe, who’re working at different levels. We’ve also provided our players with the best technical, scientific and economic support. Yet, we haven’t been able to make a difference.
I feel this is mainly due to our malfunctioning administrative set-up. This isn’t the bane of Qatar alone. It’s more or less the same story across our region. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia reigned supreme in Asia almost two decades ago. The UAE showed some signs of a surge sporadically. Qatar too had its moment of glory when its Under-19 team won the Asian title. But none of the Gulf countries could sustain its dominance and the blame lies squarely on the administrators.
While Japan, South Korea and Australia achieved sustainable growth and consistently good results, teams from the Middle East flattered only to deceive.
It’s time to retrospect and raise questions — do we’ve our priorities right? Is our methodology right? Are we executing our plans in the right way?
You don’t need to be a genius to realise that we’re repeating the mistakes. And, obviously, we’re getting the same results.
We’ve to set things right from top to bottom. I’m not against naturalisation, but get the right players. Anyway, that alone isn’t a panacea for all the ills that plague our game. Neither can it be fixed by simply changing the coach after every missed opportunity.
I think there’s an urgent need to revamp our total set-up. It’s not only important to develop the game on the field, but huge improvement needs to be made off the field as well, especially in areas like administration. Right now, it’s mired in mediocrity.
We need a more dynamic team, which’ll stay focused on its goals, not allowing people with vested interests to misguide them. We need to fix more accountability as well.
The earlier the better.