Explained: Why Qatar is competing in the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Qatar @ CONCACAF Gold Cup(C)Getty Images

Following their conquest in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Asian giants Qatar will be part of the biennial tournament for the second straight time.

Given that the CONCACAF Gold Cup is a tournament predominantly for the North Americas, Qatar is not a member nation and falls under the aegis of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

So how did the 2019 Asian Cup champions participate in the CONCACAF Gold Cup? GOAL can answer that for you...

Article continues below

Why Qatar are playing in Gold Cup 2023?

Just as in the 2021 edition of the tournament, Qatar have been invited to be part of the 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

In fact, it was declared back in 2020 that Qatar would be part of the 2021 and 2023 Gold Cups as part of a major collaboration between CONCACAF and the Qatari Football Association (QFA).

As the pact was signed along with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), the initiative was aimed at the growth of the beautiful game at a grassroots level in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Which other non-CONCACAF teams played in Gold Cup?

Having finished in the top four in the 2021 Gold Cup, The Marooons became the second nation from the AFC to appear in a Gold Cup tournament on an invitational basis after South Korea (2000, 2002).

Qatar also became the seventh guest nation overall from another region to play in the Gold Cup - Brazil (1996, 1998, 2003), Colombia (2000, 2003, 2005), Peru (2000), Ecuador (2002), and South Africa (2005) completing the list.

Apart from teams participating across continents, there has also been a referee exchange wherein referees from AFC officiated in CONCACAF competitions while from the CONCACAF region oversaw games at the AFC level.