'Qatar's triumph can inspire other countries to excel'
Updated 18:07, 02-Feb-2019
Sports Scene
02:59

After Qatar's emphatic AFC Asian Cup title with a stunning 3-1 victory over Japan in Friday's final at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, CGTN Sports Scene spoke to Ei China co-founder Paul Dong (Dong Jun), who shared his two cents on the remarkable victory by the hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

While being asked about whether he regards Qatar a new powerhouse of Asian football, Dong explained, “Personally, I will refrain from saying that Qatar is already a new power in Asian football. Of course, there were not many past champions who could be proclaimed as traditional powers. If Qatar wins again in another four years, it will still be a kind of a difficult prediction for many people. 

"Therefore, when you proclaim a new power in Asian football you need to look into some other criteria such as the population of players playing in a country. Of course, there is an increase in the number of players playing in Qatar and the country has a very efficient and healthy system being bold and being fast-improved over the last decade."

Almoez Ali (2nd, L) of Qatar celebrates with his teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the AFC Asian Cup final match between Japan and Qatar at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE. /VCG Photo

Almoez Ali (2nd, L) of Qatar celebrates with his teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the AFC Asian Cup final match between Japan and Qatar at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE. /VCG Photo

Dong further said, "Especially after winning the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the country has been highly concentrated on building a very strong system of nurturing young talents. Of course, there is no dispute about that, but Qatar is a relatively small country with less than three million people in total. That's not comparable to the bigger countries like Japan."

But Dong still gave full credit to Qatar's impeccable system as he mentioned, "Qatar's win has presented a very good example of how a country or a little bigger countries like Thailand, Vietnam can develop their own youth training systems. Qatar and other small nations are doing something very aggressive and also suitable for their own situation."

"That also presents a challenge to Japan, South Korea and particularly China. I still believe that China has thrived so many decades and so far they failed to find the right path for itself but given its huge population and the people's attitude towards sports, I still believe that the real potential lies in here in this country, which finished just outside after their loss in the quarterfinals," Dong said.