In more than two years, Qatar wants to compete with the strongest football countries at the World Cup at home. The national players must be loaned to Europe in advance to become competitive.
In December 2022, the World Cup will take place in the desert emirate of Qatar. In order to play a good role in the home tournament, the ruling family has invested millions in the development of the sport for years. The strategy of training young talents – mostly from African countries – at the “Aspire” football academy in Doha and then naturalizing them achieved its first success with a victory at the Asian Cup 2019.
Nevertheless, Qatar is still considered a football midget and fears that the 2022 World Cup will go down against the world’s strongest national teams are high. That is why the emirate is now planning a drastic, unprecedented step. As the Belgian daily “La Derniere Heure” reports, Qatar intends to loan “most of its national players” to KAS Eupen. With the Belgian first division team, the footballers have to gain experience at the international top level that the domestic Qatar Star League lacks. This spectacular loan agreement must be made possible by an emergency decree from the emir, which is the majority shareholder of KAS Eupen through an investment holding company.
Eupen sports director about rumor: “nonsense”
Confronted with the plans of the newspaper “Grenzecho”, Eupens sporting director Jordi Condom vehemently denied them. “I have read the relevant article – nonsense,” said the club official. The rumor reminds him “of the people who still think the Earth is not round”.
From a purely legal point of view, Qatar’s plans could be implemented, as Belgium does not apply the European regulation to restrict foreigners from outside the EU in the professional squad.