Interview with Mr. Hassan Rabiah Al Kuwari, General Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Qatar Football Association Award


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Mr. Hassan Rabiah Al Kuwari, General Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Qatar Football Association (QFA) Award, gave his takes on the 2019-20 season in general, nominees for this season’s Best Awards, selection mechanism, participants in the voting process and cancellation of the award ceremony, among various other topics.

Mr. Hassan Rabiah, tell us about your evaluation of the 2019-20 season?

It was a strong and difficult season, which witnessed some challenges that we overcame in co-operation and co-ordination with the authorities concerned and all partners. In this regard, I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all entities that worked with us and supported us, such as the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Public Health, Qatar Red Crescent, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, QFA and Aspetar. We also thank the clubs and players for their commitment and professionalism throughout the season in general and during the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) in particular as well as fans for their commitment to the instructions and guidelines regarding the precautionary measures.

Why was this season’s QFA Award ceremony cancelled?

This season’s awards ceremony was cancelled under the current circumstances to ensure the safety and security of everyone and as part of the country’s efforts to combat the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Candidates and award winners will be announced through the official websites and social media platforms of QFA and Qatar Stars League, as stated in the statement by the Board of Trustees.

For the award nominees this season, what’s the selection mechanism and also the voting process?

With regard to the awards that are subject to voting, namely (Best Under-23 Player, Best Coach and Best Player), the number of candidates has been reduced and three names have been approved in each category. They are voted to choose the best as we send the forms to the parties authorized to participate in the voting process. A total of 54 forms were sent on Sunday, 23rd August, and the last day to return the filled-up forms is Tuesday, 25th August, after which the forms are sorted and presented to the Board of Trustees for approval of the final results, and the winner in each category is announced.

How about the other awards? Are there any new awards this season?

As for the other awards that are not subject to voting, the top-scorer award will be shared by Al Sadd’s Akram Afif and Al Rayyan’s Yacine Brahimi (both 15 goals).

Regarding award for the Best Referees, co-ordination is being done with the Referees’ Committee of QFA to nominate the outstanding referees based on their performances. It should be noted that a new award has been added to this category under the name of Best Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

In terms of Football for All Award, presented to entities or people who contribute to the development and promotion of football, a number of names and entities were presented to the Board of Trustees for selection.

What do you think of the candidates for voting in each category and awards in general?

With regard to the nominees for each award, the names put up for voting are considered as the best according to the data of numbers, statistics, general performance and results. The choice is presented to all participants in the voting process to choose the most distinguished in each category, according to the names specified and announced.

There’ve been discussions that some other names too deserved to be included in each category. What’s your comment on the nominations?

It’s good to put up a large number of names that some believe deserve to be included in list of nominees and this reflects the high level of players and the extent of technical quality of matches this season, as we witnessed great competition at various levels and positions, be it at the top, middle or the bottom. The selection process is carried out according to previously-mentioned criteria, including performance, results and participation. But in the end, one winner will be selected from each category according to the award mechanism.

How were the participants in the voting process chosen?

Since the inception of the award, one of the most important factors to select the best has been the participation of various stakeholders directly related to Qatar football. On top of the list are coaches, team managers and national team coaches, in addition to media representatives who actively cover the matches.

Do you feel that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which led to the suspension of football activity, has affected levels and performance this season after the resumption of competitions?

It’s certain that there was some impact of the pandemic on the levels and performance of some players and through what we saw in some games during the last five rounds of QNB Stars League. But in general during the season, the technical levels in most of the games were high and a number of players exhibited distinct and strong levels.