Ooredoo Cup kicks off on Friday
The QNB Stars League has taken a fortnight-long break due to FIFA Days and Ooredoo Cup is all set to steal the spotlight, with Round 1 matches being played on Friday, 11th October, and Saturday, 12th October, at the Al Ahli and Al Arabi Stadiums.
The Ooredoo Cup, formerly QSL Cup, provides younger players with more playing time and exposure. The tournament, which has a group-cum-knockout format, offers new opportunities for sponsors, partners and supporters to highlight their brands.
First-team players, Under-23 players and Under-19 players can participate in the tournament.
This season’s tournament’s major highlight is that it would be held under the patronage of Ooredoo, one of the major national companies.
The draw for the Ooredoo Cup was held at the Qatar Stars League’s headquarters in Al Bidda Tower on Sunday, 1st September, 2019.
All 12 QNB Stars League teams are divided into two groups and the top four sides from each group will progress to the knockout quarterfinals.
Group A has Al Sadd, Al Shahania, Al Ahli, Umm Salal, Al Rayyan and Al Wakrah. Group B consists of Al Duhail, Al Khor, Al Sailiya, Qatar SC, Al Arabi and Al Gharafa.
The ranking of clubs in the draw was based on their final standings in the 2018-19 QNB Stars League.
The fixtures are Al Sadd vs Al Wakrah (17:30) at Al Ahli Stadium, Al Ahli vs Umm Salal (19:40) at Al Ahli Stadium and Al Shahania vs Al Rayyan (19:40) at Al Arabi Stadium on Friday (Group A), Al Khor vs Al Arabi (17:30) at Al Arabi Stadium, Al Sailiya vs Qatar SC (19:40) at Al Arabi Stadium and Al Duhail vs Al Gharafa (19:40) at Al Ahli Stadium on Saturday (Group B).
Al Gharafa are the reigning champions. They beat Al Duhail 1-0 in last edition’s final. Al Gharafa had triumphed in the previous season as well.
Even though the teams will miss some of their international players who will do duty for their country during the break, the tournament is a good opportunity for them to make up for the lapses and prepare for the tough times ahead in the QNB Stars League, where Al Duhail are leading the table, followed by Al Arabi, Al Sadd and Al Rayyan in the top bracket.