From women’s team to grassroots game: questions linger in Qatar | Nick Ames

In the week that marked 100 days since the World Cup final we look at five areas with unanswered questions

The Qatar women’s team has not played an official game since 2014. A squad exists in some form, and is believed to gather for training and matches played in private, but their activities are kept far from the spotlight and they are not run by the local FA. They do not appear on the Fifa rankings. The side was formed in 2009, shortly before the World Cup bid was made, but has only been in action 15 times. In private the right noises are being made about a return to action and discussions are believed to be underway, although as with many of the lingering questions about Qatar’s post-World Cup future there is little detail about timescales. The idea is that they will have infrastructure waiting for them, with the Education City Stadium being repurposed into the team’s home and a hub for women’s sport. A friendly tournament involving academy and club sides from Qatar and abroad took place there last month. A small local league exists, while positive steps are undoubtedly being made to improve participation at grassroots level: the recently-created Elite Academy for girls shows promise. But real hope that Qatar is serious about developing the sport would come in the form of an active national team.

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