The Qatar Football Association (QFA) announced the launch of the third Qatargas U23 League season 2019-20, at a joint press conference held by the QFA and Qatargas at Al Bidda Tower.
The third edition of the league showcases the longstanding and fruitful partnership between Qatargas and the QFA which has been in place for many years and witnessed the delivery of numerous successful events and projects.
The press conference was attended by Khalid Mubarak Al Kuwari, Director of Marketing and Communications at QFA, Ali Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, Public Relations Manager at Qatargas, and representatives from QFA and participating teams.
It was announced at the press conference that the participating teams in this year's edition include 12 clubs: Al Ahli SC, Al Sadd, SC, Al Duhail SC, Al Arabi SC, Al Gharrafa SC, Qatar SC, Umm Salal SC, Al Khor SC, Al Rayan SC, Al Sailiya SC, Al Wakrah SC, and Al Shahania SC.
Al Kass, the host broadcaster, will broadcast the matches, and produce a special program focused on covering all aspects and highlights of the league and featuring interviews with players, coaches and other club officials.
Speaking at the press conference, Khalid Al Kuwari, Director of Marketing and Communications at the QFA commented: “The Qatar Football Association and Qatargas have a long-standing partnership. Qatargas U23 League is one of the fruitful results of this unique partnership and emphasises the depth of the relationship between the QFA and Qatargas. Qatargas is the world's premier liquefied natural gas company and is one of the key sponsors of QFA, having them on board is an important achievement which we aim it continues for many years ahead as it's part of the QFA's 2021 vision."
He added: “Preparations for Qatargas U23 League have started after the end of the last season, in which a full-fledged marketing and media plan has been put in place in cooperation with our partners Qatargas and Al Kass, to showcase a perfect league. I thank Al Kass for its great efforts in promoting the league and the successful relationship throughout QFA's matches and competitions."
Al Kuwari clarified: “This league continues to offer great opportunities to local players aged below 23 to play football in competitive atmosphere which benefits them and results in their participation with the first division clubs' matches and subsequently, the Qatar national teams. I wish all teams the best of luck and hope we witness great technical performances on the field."
Ali Al Sulaiti, PR Manager at Qatargas said: “Qatargas is delighted to be part of this exciting league that brings together some of the most aspiring young footballers in Qatar. We are hopeful that Qatargas' support for the league will go a long way in taking Qatar's football to new heights, especially as the country is getting ready to host the World Cup in 2022. I thank the Qatar Football Association for providing us this opportunity to be part of the State of Qatar's efforts to be one of the world's leading sports destinations. We are optimistic that our cooperation with the QFA will ultimately benefit football and the growing talents in this important game."
The third edition will kick off on Monday, 16 September 2019, and will see three encounters in the first week. Umm Salal SC will play Al Arabi SC while Al Khor will face Al Ahli SC, and Al Duhail SC will play Al Rayyan, defending champions of the previous edition. Matches will be played at 6:15pm in Al Khor, Al Sailiya and Al Arabi stadiums.
Week 1 matches will continue Tuesday with Al Sailiya SC vs. Al Sadd SC and Al Gharrafa SC vs. Qatar SC, and will be played in Al Shamal and Al Gharrafa stadiums at 6:15pm. Week 1 will conclude with the third match which will see Al Shahania SC take on Al Wakrah SC at Al Gharrafa Stadium at 8pm.
Week 2 and 3 will be played on 23 September and 30 September. All matches will be played on Mondays and Tuesdays of every week. Week 4 of the league will begin on 21 October and matches will be announced at a later stage.
Al Duhail SC were crowned champions of the first and second editions after a long and deserving battle. It finished the season with a total points of 56 points after securing 22 wins, 2 draws, and 2 losses. Al Duhail SC holds the record of most goals scored after scoring a total of 96 goals. They also had the strongest defense line, and conceded only 21 goals.
It is worth mentioning that the Qatargas U23 League is a competition organised by the QFA which was inaugurated at the start of the sports season 2017/2018. The ranking of the teams is decided based on the number of points collected throughout their matches and the team that collect the highest number of points will be crowned as champions of the league.