Stage set as Arabian Gulf Cup draw unveiled

Qatar’s Asian champions will face off against Bahrain, UAE, and Kuwait in Group B in next year’s edition of the Arabian Gulf Cup.

Held in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, eight Gulf teams were divided into two groups.

In Group A, hosts Iraq will play against Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Yemen.

The Arab tournament was initially set to take place in December of this year but was pushed back as it consolidated in the same month as Qatar’s World Cup.

Instead, the tournament will kick off in January 2023 for the second time in Iraq since 1979.

Ahead of Iraq’s return to hosting the tournament, Qatar Football Association (QFA) President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani travelled to the Republic to witness preparations.

Joined by the President of the Arab Gulf Cup Football Federation, Jassim Al Rumaihi, both football executives gave their green light for the tournament.

“All the final arrangements and preparations for the ceremony of the 25th Gulf Cup are on track,” Al Rumaihi said.

“The preparations in Iraq are in full swing to host the tournament, which will be a Gulf carnival. The coordination meetings are continuing, and we will share more details regarding the tournament in the coming period,” Al Rumaihi added.

Al-Minaa Olympic Stadium is set to be the city’s new 30,000-seater stadium, with two other venues hosting the regional as well.

Basra International Stadium will invite 65,000 spectators, and a secondary stadium of 10,000 onlookers will be used for team training and friendlies.

Arriving at the Gulf Cup, Kuwait is the most triumphant team in the tournament’s history, with ten titles, while Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq won the event three times each.

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