Reflecting on a modern Qatar during a World Cup game with friends | Qatar World Cup 2022

Al-Rayyan, Qatar – A bunch of family and friends collect day by day on the majlis in a constructing that’s strolling distance from their houses in Al-Rayyan, simply west of Doha.

It’s a convention that has been happening for years and is a part of day by day life right here in Qatar. A majlis is an space in a home or a separate constructing used for all types of gatherings, from day by day lounging to extra vital occasions.

However now, with the World Cup on the town, it has taken on a special theme: a soccer watch occasion.

The principally middle-aged and older attendees on the majlis have been there to observe Sunday’s opening match of the 2022 World Cup, Qatar v Ecuador.

In Qatar, they’ve been ready for this second for years. All throughout the nation, in majlis similar to this, Qataris tuned in to see themselves on the world stage.

Not that everybody was right here for the sport.

“Actually, I’m not into soccer,” mentioned Nasser Al Thani, who’s right here most days. “They’re all right here for the sport, however I’m right here for the opening ceremony.”

The opening ceremony, with its show of Qatari historical past, took the friends again to their childhood. One second, particularly, took them again when a video was proven of Qatar’s former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani taking part in soccer within the desert in what the friends estimated to be the early Nineteen Seventies.

“We used to play within the sands like this,” mentioned Al Thani. “Barefoot, toes bleeding. Once I see these outdated photographs, it jogs my memory of the outdated days. Folks have been easier and nicer then.”

Al Thani and the opposite friends reminisced about their journeys to the desert of their youth.

Considered one of them, Mubarak al-Naeemi, used to play for the Qatari soccer groups Al-Rayyan and Al-Gharafa within the Eighties. He mentioned that one in all his teammates on the time was Hassan Afif, the daddy of the present star of the Qatari staff, Akram Afif.

“I might play on the left wing; I used to be good, however Hassan may get the ball to anybody, wherever they have been on the sector,” al-Naeemi instructed Al Jazeera.

Qatar football World Cup 2022 - GROUPS

Distracted from the sport

Qatar conceded a aim early, setting the sport’s tone.

So, as an alternative of losing their time by paying an excessive amount of consideration to what was a poor efficiency from the Qataris, the majlis friends returned to interested by the modifications they’ve seen within the final 20 years in Qatar, significantly for the reason that World Cup was awarded to the Gulf nation in 2010.

It’s well-known that Doha has modified quickly since then. However listening to the friends right here, who noticed that change, it’s clear how radically various things are.

“Have a look at these metro stations,” mentioned one of many friends, Sultan Johar. “4 flooring underground. It’s superb. We received the World Cup out of it, however even when we hadn’t, these modifications would have been sufficient. Whenever you get off at every cease, you see one thing new.”

Al Thani factors out that the change has gone past the infrastructure and unfold to the individuals.

“Let’s be trustworthy, we didn’t have a robust sense of nationalism or nationwide id earlier than,” mentioned Al Thani. “The World Cup, this mission, has helped construct this. Now you even hear the opposite Arabs who’ve been raised right here, they converse with a Qatari accent. They’ve began to really feel that satisfaction in residing in Qatar.”

However that doesn’t imply that this group welcomes all of the modifications.

They recalled that the Qatar of their childhood and adolescence was much less developed, however individuals have been hardier and will survive on their very own.

And never simply that, the climate was cooler, and rainfall was nonetheless uncommon however extra plentiful than in the present day, they mentioned.

Now, as many World Cup friends have discovered, the temperatures are hotter than they was once.

“It’s local weather change, and it makes us fear in regards to the future,” mentioned Johar. “We by no means understood issues like conservation or defending the surroundings. Now we go on journeys to the desert and decide up the litter. We get it now however have a look at the bushes. They’ve disappeared in some areas due to the dearth of rainfall. And the animals we used to hunt, it’s a must to go deep into the desert to search out them now.”

On the tv, Qatar conceded a second after which confirmed little within the second half, with the sport ultimately ending 2-0 for Ecuador.

A lot of the friends on the majlis had left lengthy earlier than the top of the video games, and the jokes have been already rolling into everybody’s telephones, commiserating over the loss.

On the finish of the day, the outcome was not too vital for the friends right here, however the symbolism of the arrival of such a major occasion to their doorstep was. And but, as soon as this event is over, the majlis will keep it up, and these buddies will nonetheless collect, questioning how way more they are going to see their nation change within the years to come back.

Mohammed Salim: The ‘bare-footed Indian’ who wowed Celtic | Football

Hearken to this story:

Regardless of boasting the world’s second-biggest inhabitants, India has seen a remarkably small variety of its footballers make the journey to Europe to play in an expert league.

Solely 31 Indian gamers in the whole historical past of the sport have suited up for an expert membership in Europe, and most of them have been hidden within the decrease tiers.

In 1999, Bhaichung Bhutia turned the primary Indian participant to signal a contract with a European skilled membership when he joined Bury within the English Second Division.

This was seen as an enormous advance for India and brought about nice pleasure throughout the nation, however Bhutia, who was hailed as “God’s present to Indian soccer”, solely performed 46 video games in northwest England earlier than returning residence.

Though Bhutia was the primary to signal, he was not really the primary Indian to play for a European membership.

That honour belongs to the legendary Mohammed Salim, who achieved the feat 63 years earlier when he performed twice in Scotland for one in every of Europe’s largest golf equipment, Celtic.

Salim made historical past with out ever carrying a pair of soccer boots. As a substitute, he performed barefoot with solely bandages wrapped round his ft.

A barefoot message

Salim was born in 1904 in Kolkata, then generally known as Calcutta, in northeast India. He started a profession as a pharmacist, however this was by no means his true calling, and he turned to his actual love, soccer.

In 1926, on the age of twenty-two, he joined Chittaranjan Soccer Membership earlier than passing via Mohammedan Sporting Membership, Sporting Union, East Bengal Membership and Aryans Membership.

It was on his return to Mohammedan Sporting Membership in 1934 that he loved his biggest success, serving to them win the primary of 5 consecutive Calcutta Soccer Leagues.

This was at a time when India was struggling for independence from British colonial rule, and the Calcutta League had solely ever been gained by British groups, usually shaped from the British military, together with Durham Gentle Infantry and the North Staffordshire Regiment.

Mohammedan’s title in 1934 was an enormous symbolic second as the primary time an all-Indian staff had gained it.

“Many Indians took to soccer to reply British jibes Indians weren’t manly sufficient to rule themselves,” Boria Majumdar from the Worldwide Journal of the Historical past of Sport stated. “Indians performed in naked ft, and regardless of this, they defeated English males in boots, which was seen as proof that Indians weren’t inferior to the British.”

Altering groups

After profitable his third title with Mohammedan in 1936, Salim was chosen to signify an Indian staff to play two exhibition video games in opposition to the Chinese language Olympic facet forward of that yr’s Olympic Video games in Berlin.

Salim’s Chinese language opponents praised his efficiency within the first sport, however earlier than the second sport, he mysteriously disappeared, inflicting the Indian Soccer Affiliation to put newspaper ads asking for details about his whereabouts.

Salim was really on his strategy to Glasgow to attempt to prepare a trial with the Scottish giants and reigning champions Celtic.

Salim’s brother Hasheem, a shopkeeper in Scotstoun west of Glasgow, is believed to have been on vacation in Calcutta on the time, and after seeing his sibling’s efficiency in opposition to the Chinese language, persuaded Salim to board a British steamship and return to Scotland with him.

Hasheem spoke to the legendary Celtic supervisor Willie Maley, who was in cost for an unimaginable 43 years from 1897 to 1940 and gained 30 main trophies.

“An amazing participant from India has come by ship,” Hasheem instructed Maley. “Will you please take a trial of his? However there’s a slight drawback – Salim performs in naked ft.”

Nearing the top of his future in administration, Maley was intrigued by this prospect and determined to provide Salim a trial.

The Scottish Soccer Affiliation needed to give its approval for him to play in a aggressive sport with out boots. Earlier than the match, the Celtic assistant supervisor Jimmy McMenemy fastidiously wrapped Salim’s ft in bandages, which was famously captured by a photographer.

Greater than only a curiosity

On August 28, 1936, Salim performed for Celtic in opposition to Galston in an Alliance League sport at Celtic Park in entrance of seven,000 followers. Regardless of being the one participant on the pitch with out boots, Salim enchanted the gang along with his abilities and methods on the precise wing and contributed three assists within the snug 7-1 win.

“Salim was undoubtedly the star attraction within the Alliance sport at Celtic Park final night time,” wrote the previous Celtic participant Alec Bennett in The Report. “I daresay many of the crowd turned up out of curiosity than anything. Was it not one thing distinctive to see a person of color in a Celtic jersey and, what’s extra, one which did his stuff in his naked ft?”

“The Celtic assist made up their thoughts in regards to the Indian in jig time: The sport had not been very lengthy in progress nevertheless earlier than he had the gang ‘rooting’ for him and amazed at his cleverness,” Bennett wrote. “He hugged the touchline an excessive amount of, it’s true, and naturally didn’t threat the deal with, however in passing he appeared in a position to put the ball simply the place he needed, whereas his crossing of the ball was, to say the least of it, simply great.”

Within the Day by day Categorical, a headline learn, “Indian Juggler – New Fashion”, above a match report full of wide-eyed reward for Salim: “Ten twinkling toes of Salim, Celtic FC participant from India, hypnotised the gang final night time. He balances the ball on his massive toe, lets it run down the size to his little toe, twirls it, hops on one foot across the defender, then flicks the ball to the centre who has solely to ship it into objective.”

Earlier than Salim’s subsequent sport, The Night Instances raved about his expertise, featured {a photograph} of him in a Celtic package and instructed its readers he was “properly price seeing”.

Two weeks after his debut, Salim drew a crowd of 5,000 individuals to observe Celtic’s reserve staff sport in opposition to Hamilton Academicals, during which he scored from the penalty spot in a 5-1 win.

“The bare-footed Indian biffed the ball arduous to the left of the goalkeeper who, though managing to get his hand to it, was completely unable to stop it going into the web,” The Report reported.

“Resounding cheers greeted the Indian’s objective however Salim confirmed no outward signal of his emotions,” the newspaper stated. “… It was evident that the primary attraction was Salim. ‘Give the ball to Salim’ was the slogan of the gang, however the Celtic gamers correctly didn’t overwork the Indian, who crosses a splendid ball, however is way from being the whole participant.”

The Celtic board was naturally delighted on the elevated crowds and income Salim was producing on the reserve video games and provided to provide him 5 % of future gate receipts.

However he was greater than a mere novelty, and a fascinated Maley needed to develop him as a participant and signal him for the 1936-37 season.

Securing the household title

Salim, nevertheless, felt homesick and, after these two video games, determined to return to Calcutta and resume enjoying for Mohammedan Sporting Membership, the place he went on to win two extra titles in 1937 and 1938.

The fleeting expertise remained with him, and in 1949, he wrote to the Night Instances to safe a replica of Maley’s guide The Story of Celtic, during which he was briefly talked about.

There’s little or no identified about Salim’s later years earlier than his loss of life in 1989 on the age of 76, however in an interview in 2002, his son Rashid recalled reaching out to Celtic when his father had been unwell and wanted medical consideration.

“I had no intention of asking for cash. It was only a ploy to seek out out if Mohammed Salim was nonetheless alive of their reminiscence. To my amazement, I obtained a letter from the membership. Inside was a financial institution draft for £100. I used to be delighted, not as a result of I obtained the cash however as a result of my father nonetheless holds a pleasure of place in Celtic. I’ve not even cashed the draft and can protect it until I die.

“I simply need my father’s title to be put as the primary Indian footballer to play overseas. That’s the solely factor that I would like and nothing else.”

Ten players missing out on World Cup 2022 due to injury | Qatar World Cup 2022 News

Taking part in within the World Cup might be the dream of each footballer and the head of their profession.

Some, like Pele, not solely participated within the event greater than as soon as, but additionally went on to raise the trophy on a number of events.

However some prime footballers finish their careers with out making it to the event.

A few of these assist their group qualify and are adequate to be within the squad, however then miss the flight as a result of an unlucky harm.

Listed below are 10 prime footballers who’re lacking out on World Cup 2022 as a result of harm, with a particular point out for France’s Karim Benzema who bought dominated out a day earlier than the beginning of the World Cup.

Paul Pogba (France)

Maybe the most important identify on the record, Paul Pogba – a World Cup and Euro winner with France, worldwide star, and most significantly, very important member of the French group – won’t be obtainable this time as they give the impression of being to defend their title in Qatar.

Pogba underwent surgical procedure in September for a knee harm and won’t get well in time as France open their title defence on November 22 in opposition to Australia.

paul pogba
France’s Paul Pogba (c) has been an integral a part of the nationwide group [Vadim Ghirda, Pool]

Sadio Mane (Senegal)

Senegal’s star ahead Sadio Mane was on the roster for Qatar however needed to be withdrawn two days earlier than the event’s opening match on Sunday. Mane suffered a leg harm whereas taking part in for his membership Bayern Munich earlier this month.

The information didn’t go down effectively with the Senegalese followers as their hopes for the success of the Teranga Tigers lay on Mane’s shoulders. Senegal play their first match in opposition to the Netherlands on November 21.

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Mane led Senegal to AFCON glory earlier this yr REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani/File Photograph

Marcus Reus (Germany)

Marcus Reus has had his share of dangerous luck in the case of the World Cup.

The 33-year-old missed the 2014 version as a result of harm, and his group went on to raise the trophy. Reus was set to make a comeback after harm and be a part of Hansi Flick’s German facet for the 2022 World Cup, just for him to worsen the harm on his ankle and be dominated out but once more.

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Marco Reus has now missed two World Cups by harm REUTERS/Hannah McKay

Diogo Jota (Portugal)

One in all Portugal’s major males in assault, Diogo Jota would have been among the many first names in his group’s beginning XI throughout their World Cup marketing campaign. However Jota suffered a calf harm representing his membership Liverpool throughout a league match in October.

Whereas Jota didn’t require surgical procedure, the rehabilitation interval from his harm will likely be lengthy sufficient to maintain him out of the World Cup. Pundits have put down Portugal among the many favourites for the event and lacking Jota might have an enormous impact on their possibilities.

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Diogo Jota has been an integral member of this Portugal facet (Photograph by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP) (AFP)

Amine Harit (Morocco)

Most of Amine Harit’s Moroccan teammates had already landed in Qatar when he sustained an harm that may put him out of the World Cup. The Marseille ahead suffered a knee harm in his final membership recreation earlier than heading out for Doha.

The 25-year-old was carried off on a stretcher. The pictures broke Moroccan hearts. Native media retailers have been flooded with messages of assist from his teammates, and Harit will reportedly journey to Qatar to assist his group through the event.

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Amine Harit took half within the 2018 World Cup for Iran REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Arthur Melo (Brazil)

In a kind of incidents when a participant will get injured with out even being concerned in a match, the Brazilian midfielder injured his left thigh whereas coaching at his membership Liverpool. The harm occurred in October and can preserve Melo out of the World Cup.

The 22-year-old confirmed his despair in an Instagram put up: “It comes simply at a time when, after enormous effort and plenty of arduous work, I used to be prepared to ascertain myself in my new group and decided to combat for my dream of taking part in on the World Cup.”

With age on his facet, Melo should get one other probability to play in a World Cup.

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Arthur Melo had moved to Liverpool to kickstart his profession (Shutterstock)

N’Golo Kante (France)

France coach Didier Deschamps could have an N’Golo Kante-sized gap in his midfield when the group takes to the pitch in opposition to Australia of their event opener. The various midfield maestro suffered a severe hamstring harm final month, which has dominated him out till January.

The 33-year-old was a key cog within the French midfield when the Les Blues received their second World Cup 4 years in the past. He was France’s man of the match in a number of the video games throughout their run to the event and has since been an everyday identify on the group sheet.

It stays to be seen if he will likely be match and in type when the following World Cup comes round, however age doesn’t appear to be on his facet.

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Kante was a key member of France’s 2018 World Cup successful facet. (Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP) (AFP)

Yuta Nakayama (Japan)

Along with a protracted record of forwards and midfielders who’ve knocked themselves out of the World Cup, Japan’s Yuta Nakayama is a kind of working in defence.

The 25-year-old suffered an Achilles harm whereas taking part in for his English membership Huddersfield City earlier this month. Nakayama has earned 17 caps with Japan and was in coach Hajime Moriyasu’s Qatar-bound squad till he bought injured earlier this month.

Japan open their marketing campaign in opposition to Germany on November 23.

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Yuta Nakayama in motion in opposition to Brazil in a pleasant earlier this yr REUTERS/Issei Kato

Jojo Wallacott (Ghana)

Ghana’s group can anticipate finding loads of assist in Qatar after they open their World Cup marketing campaign in opposition to Portugal on November 24. Nonetheless, they are going to be lacking the defensive capabilities of their goalkeeper Jojo Wallacott who has been dominated out of the event with a finger harm.

Wallacott performs membership soccer at Charlton Athletic in England, and was not noted of the 26-man squad lower than every week earlier than the beginning of the World Cup.

Studies in Ghanian media steered Wallacott should journey with the squad however won’t participate within the event.

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Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina)

Argentina are among the many favourites to raise the trophy in Qatar, and never simply due to a sure Lionel Messi.

The 2014 finalists have a stable record of gamers of their squad, and a Copa America title to their identify. Probably the most vital figures of that title win, nevertheless, will likely be lacking in motion in Qatar.

Giovani Lo Celso, a significant a part of the Argentinian midfield, was dominated out after a muscle tear final month. Lo Celso is so essential to educate Lionel Scaloni that he has stated there isn’t any alternative for the 26-year-old midfielder. “Numerically there’s a alternative, however football-wise there may be not,” Scaloni advised reporters earlier this month.

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Giovani Lo Celso had struck up a superb partnership with Messi for Argentina REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian