Qatar climb 38 places in FIFA rankings after Asian Cup triumph
CGTN

Qatar have moved up to 55th in the FIFA world rankings, their best position in 26 years, after their breakthrough Asian Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates on February 1.

The 2022 World Cup hosts' remarkable run at the continental championship, where they won all seven games and conceded only one goal, allowed them to move up 38 places from 93rd in the world.

Qatar beat regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia, Iraq and South Korea (ROK) on their way to the final, where they stunned four-times champions Japan 3-1.

The Qataris are still only the fifth-highest ranked team from Asian soccer's governing body Asian Football Confederation (AFC), behind Iran (22nd), Japan (27th), ROK (38th) and Australia (42nd).

Belgium continue to lead the world rankings ahead of last year's World Cup winners France and Brazil, with no changes to the top 20 due to the lack of fixtures involving teams from the European and South American confederations.

For the moment, Qatar is not the country whose national team rank lowest in FIFA world ranking among World Cup hosts, as before, South Africa and Russia ranked 83rd and 66th respectively one month before the events.

FIFA co-hosts World Cup

Hassan Al Thawadi (4L), Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, stands next to FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura (C) in Doha, Qatar, February 5, 2019. /VCG Photo

Hassan Al Thawadi (4L), Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, stands next to FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura (C) in Doha, Qatar, February 5, 2019. /VCG Photo

Soccer's world governing body FIFA has set up a joint venture with 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar as part of its effort to streamline organization of the tournament, it said on Tuesday.

FIFA said in a statement that it would hold a 51 percent share of the venture while the Qatar organizing committee would hold 49 percent.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in 2016 that the federation would take more control over ticketing and organization at the World Cup, adding that the decision was driven by efficiency and not a lack of trust in local organizers.

Until now, local World Cup organizing committees have been left to work largely independently, with FIFA making periodic inspections of their progress, in a pattern that has sometimes led to tension.

In the run-up to the 2014 World Cup, FIFA's then secretary general Jerome Valcke infuriated hosts Brazil by saying the country needed a "kick up the backside" to speed up its preparations.

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said in the statement that the new setup was a "major step" forward in the organization of the tournament.
"The joint venture aims to reorganize the way we work at the operational front and avoid inefficiencies," she said.

The Qatar tournament is due to take place in November and December 2022 with 32 teams participating, although Infantino has suggested this could be increased to 48.

A feasibility study is being carried out on aspects such as scheduling, the number of required venues, training sites and how many games per day would be played under an expanded format.

Source(s): Reuters