Qatar says farewell to World Cup in 2-0 loss to Netherlands

Nov 28, 2022, 7:56 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2022, 9:59 am
Fans watch a World Cup group A soccer match between the Netherlands and Qatar at the Al Bayt Stadiu...

Fans watch a World Cup group A soccer match between the Netherlands and Qatar at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

(AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

              Fans watch a World Cup group A soccer match between the Netherlands and Qatar at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

AL KHOR, Qatar (AP) — Ibrahim Al-Ghanim, a former Qatar national soccer team defender, was dressed like thousands of other local men as he rushed to his seat through a main foyer at Al Bayt Stadium.

He wore the traditional thobe — the long-sleeve, floor-length white robe — and came to celebrate Qatar’s national team on Tuesday in its final match at the World Cup.

“We are all here to support Qatar and the team, and to enjoy it,” Al-Ghanim said. “Of course, no Qatari expected to win the World Cup.”

Al-Ghanim suggested not using the World Cup as the barometer. He pointed to Qatar winning the 2019 Asian Cup, beating Japan in the final.

“We have had success, but this is bigger,” he said. “We are progressing.”

Qatar lost Tuesday’s match against the Netherlands 2-0. Qatar lost all three of its group games, scored only one goal, and was eliminated from its own tournament even before this final game.

Qatari fans applauded courteously at the end, some held up banners expressing support, and one group displayed a sign in English with the Arabic word for “thank you” thrown in.

“Win or Lose — Shukran,” it read.

Qatar was the first host nation to lose its opening match, and only the second to be eliminated from the group stage. But that was not the main point. Simply having the World Cup — the first in the Middle East — was the focus.

Qatar has a population of 3 million, but only about one in 10 is Qatari. Workers — both skilled and unskilled — come from all over the world.

Throngs came wearing Qatar’s colors, children wore “I love Qatar” shirts, and a man on stilts performed near the VIP entrance.

“We are here to support the team and say goodbye,” said Ramzy Dabbous, a Lebanon-born chef who has lived in Qatar for 12 years.

He carried a maroon and white Qatar flag in one hand with a large flag covering his back.

He also wore an orange sweater.

“I also like the Netherlands football,” he said.

Prathik Venkatesh was born in Qatar and has lived in the country most of his life. But his roots are in India and he studies in the United States.

“I’m not Qatari, but I was born here and live here since I was a kid,” said Venkatesh, also draped in Qatar’s maroon and white colors.

Prem Lama, a Nepalese who said he has worked for 19 years in Qatar, and his daughter, Avilasha, were also saturated in Qatar colors.

“I like football,” Avilasha explained. “And it’s the World Cup in Qatar.”

And maybe the last for a long time.


AP World Cup coverage: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Justin Rose, of England, reacts after making an eagle putt on the sixth green of the Pebble Beach G...
Associated Press

Justin Rose wins at Pebble Beach to end 4-year drought

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Justin Rose took all the drama out of a long week with three quick birdies that sent him to a three-shot victory Monday in the wind-delayed AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, ending four years without winning and making him eligible for the Masters. Rose played it safe down the closing holes, […]
1 day ago
NASCAR Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney (12) spins out and is hit by Daniel Suarez (99) during the Bus...
Associated Press

Column: Sloppy race clouds NASCAR’s return to LA Coliseum

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bubba Wallace said his back and neck hurt following the bumping and banging of NASCAR’s first event of the new year, an exhibition that Kyle Larson called “very violent for the majority of the race.” Austin Dillon was shocked at the aggressiveness shown Sunday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, […]
1 day ago
Boston Bruins newly hired head coach Jim Montgomery, center, displays a Bruins jersey while standin...
Associated Press

Coaching carousel spins perfectly for Bruins, Stars, Knights

Getting fired by the Boston Bruins didn’t stop former coach Bruce Cassidy from picking up the phone and giving some advice when replacement Jim Montgomery called to ask. Getting fired by the Vegas Golden Knights also didn’t stop Peter DeBoer from answering a call from Cassidy, who replaced him in his old job. DeBoer was […]
1 day ago
South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley reacts in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game ...
Associated Press

Indiana reaches No. 2 in women’s AP Top 25; SC still No. 1

South Carolina beat a top opponent to remain No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll released Monday and now has a showdown with another one looming this weekend. The Gamecocks (23-0) topped then- No. 5 UConn 81-77 on Sunday to remain unbeaten and stay the unanimous choice atop the poll from the […]
1 day ago
Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola sits on the bench before the English FA Cup 4th round so...
Associated Press

How Manchester City came to face Premier League charges

GENEVA (AP) — The English Premier League vs. Manchester City: a legal fixture for the ages. Soccer’s richest and most watched league challenged its defending champion on Monday with more than 100 charges of alleged financial wrongdoing and failures to cooperate with an investigation that took more than four years. Dozens of charges allege breaches […]
1 day ago
Purdue head coach Matt Painter argues a call during the second of an NCAA college basketball game a...
Associated Press

Purdue stays No. 1 in AP Top 25; NC State in at No. 22

Purdue’s unquestioned grip on No. 1 in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll is gone after a weekend loss. That didn’t stop the Boilermakers from remaining at the top anyway. The Boilermakers earned 38 of 62 first-place votes in the poll released Monday to remain at No. 1 for a third straight week and […]
1 day ago
Qatar says farewell to World Cup in 2-0 loss to Netherlands