Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Qatar leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of sporting success  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 03/01/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) Increasingly under the international spotlight after earning the right to host the 2022 World Cup, Qatar is leaving no stone unturned in its quest to become a sporting super-power.

The oil and gas-rich Arab emirate has set itself lofty goals for such a tiny country.

With a population of around 2 million people, of which only 300,000 are Qatari nationals, outnumbered approximately six-to-one by foreign workers, Qatar certainly does not have the kind of wide pool from which to pick and choose talent that countries such as China or the US enjoy.

Yet just as Qatar has proved keen to recruit foreign nationals to boost its sporting teams, so too has the emirate scouted the world to find the best people in a raft of pursuits outside the direct sporting sphere but related to it that could help enhance its competitive ambitions.

Whether doctors, coaches, strategists or specialists in any number of walks of life, Qatar has attracted them to the blazing heat of the desert to take part in the most ambitious of sporting projects.

One such project is Aspetar, a clinic for top-level sportsmen.

According to its director of the National Programme of Sports Medicine, Hakim Chalabi, clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the Algerian national team, send their footballers to be treated at the clinic.

"This is the Silicon Valley of sports medicine," said the Frenchman, a former doctor at both Paris Saint-Germain football club and Stade Francais rugby club.

"When you want to move towards excellence you have to try to find the best wherever you can.

"Their strategy has been defined here, now they need ... the human resources.

"And we're going to look for them where they are the best, in Qatar or elsewhere."

According to Al-Ahly's Iranian international footballer Ferydoon Zandi, the clinic has also attracted top sportsmen from the United States.

"Many athletes come from abroad for treatment because they know that the infrastructure and physiotherapy is good," he said.

"The other day, Shaquille O'Neal was in front of me. He wanted to see the equipment."

Nearby, the anti-doping laboratory of Doha is aiming to earn World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) accreditation within a year and become a reference point within the Gulf area.

"We have managers who never accept being second best," Dr. Mohammed Alsayrafi, the centre's head, told AFP.

"Every time I'm given a project I assume that if I can't be number one, then I shouldn't exist.

"More than 150 million (110 million euros) has been invested in machines and the building, but the human investment has no price."

Yet in a country where the majority of the population consists of foreign male labourers and where the scorching hot summer climate is not conducive to taking part in competitive sport, unearthing gems from within the tiny community of nationals is not easy.

One such who bucked the trend is high-jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim, who won bronze at the London Olympics in 2012 and added World Championship silver in Moscow in August.

And unlike previous Qatari athletes who excelled, such as Saif Saaeed Shahin -- a Kenyan middle distance runner born as Stephen Cherono who won two world 3,000m steeplechase titles after defecting to Qatar, allegedly in return for 1 million -- Barshim was born in Doha and came up through the country's acclaimed Aspire sports academy.

It is run by Spaniard Ivan Bravo, a former strategic manager at Real Madrid, who believes Qatar could change the whole sporting landscape of the Gulf region.

"I see a genuine conviction about what sport could bring to this country," he said.

"I don't think the society is used to just how sport can become imbedded in culture as in Europe.

"That's what this country is banking on.

"(But) you also need certain icons that everyone is looking for."

By investing heavily in infrastructure, training facilities, coaching and even treatment, Qatar is hoping to create the ideal environment for talent to flourish -- provided that the talent can also be found.


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Nov 28 2014 - UAE hints at body to monitor forex pegThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)   An advisory body to the UAE government has suggested that the central bank review the country's currency peg to the US dollar, but local bankers said any change to the peg ...

 Nov 28 2014 - Qatar bourse index down by 3.72pc last weekThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Qatari bourse fell on heavy selloff on latest Opec pessimism on output cut. The benchmark index plunged by 1.39 percent to finish at 13,330 yesterday.The entire sector ...

 Nov 28 2014 - Qatar calls for creating Common Islamic MarketThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Speaking on behalf of all Arab countries, Qatar's Minister of Economy and Commerce, H E Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al Thani, yesterday at the Ministerial Session of ...

 Nov 28 2014 - Saudis block Opec output cutThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Saudi Arabia blocked calls yesterday from poorer members of the Opec oil exporter group for production cuts to arrest a slide in global prices, sending benchmark crude ...

 Nov 28 2014 - Don't bypass oil firm, Libya rival govt warnsThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Libya's parallel government controlling the capital will take legal action against buyers of oil bypassing the Tripoli-based state oil firm National Oil Corporation (NOC), ...

 Nov 28 2014 - Qatar Airways partners with Coca Cola IPTLThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Qatar Airways (QA) has teamed up with Coca-Cola International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) as the presenting sponsor for the inaugural edition of the event.The IPTL is the ...

 Nov 28 2014 - Aljazeera to hold global hackathonThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)   Aljazeera is organising its first hackathon where some of the most innovative minds in media and technology from around the globe will work together and collaborate on the ...

 Nov 28 2014 - GCC 'Summit key to boosting unity'The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  H M King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain yesterday met GCC Secretary-General Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, who is on a GCC tour.King Hamad stressed the importance ...

 Nov 28 2014 - India- New visa rules to boost tourist numbersThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)   Tourists travelling to India from 43 countries, including the US, will no longer have to queue at their local consulates to obtain visas after New Delhi yesterday announced ...

 Nov 28 2014 - Pakistan talking to Qatar about LNG imports in 2015The Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula)  Energy-starved Pakistan is negotiating with Qatar to begin imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) early next year, Pakistan's petroleum minister said on Friday.Pakistan is ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help