MEF - A preliminary 30-player list was issued today by Qatar manager Philippe Troussier, as the Gulf tiny state are gearing up themselves for their 2006 World Cup opening qualifying fixture away to Iran on February 18.
Qatar are also scheduled to face neighboring Bahrain at home in a friendly rehearsal game next Thursday, following their opponents' Sunday outing against Lebanon in the northern coastal city of Tripoli on Sunday, as Middle Eastern sides are warming up for the World Cup qualifiers.
16 new faces are retained by the French manager, all of whom never made it to the side that ended at the 4th spot in the recent 16th Gulf Cup staged in Kuwait City, with the major surprise being the nomination of midfielder Yasser Nazmi as the lone selected outfit from reigning league champions and current runners-up Qatar SC.
Troussier will restrict the squad to just 22 players after the Bahrain outing next Thursday, before heading to Tehran on February 16, to play the home side behind closed doors, a disciplinary measure taken by the AFC following the Asian Cup qualifying home game against North Korea which was interrupted after one Korean player was hit by fireworks.
Group 1 also features Jordan and Laos, with the ultimate winners progressing to the second and final decisive qualifying phase in the Asian zone, where the ultimate top 2 sides from each Group of 4 will gain automatic tickets to the 2006 World Cup finals, with the winners of the third-placed sides taking on the final outfits in the North American qualifiers in a two-legged confrontation.
Following is the 30-player list announced by Philippe Troussier:
Goalkeepers: Mohamed Saqr (Al-Sadd) – Mohamed Abdullah Anias (Al-Wakra) – Amer Al-ka’abi (Al-Ittihad).
Defenders: Dahi Al-Noubi, Abdullah Obaid Kouni (Al-Sadd) – Salman Musabbah, Abdullah Musabbah (Al-Rayyan) – Youssouf Adam, Bilal Mohamed, Saoud Fatah, Saad Sattam Al-Shemmari (Al-Ittihad) – Nayef Khater, Jassem Al-Tamimi (Al-Wakra).
Midfielders: Walid Mohyeddine, Majdi Abdullah Moussa, Mustapha Jalal (Al-Khor) – Mubarak Rashti, Ali Al-Meri (Al-Rayyan), Ahmed Khalifa, Jaffal Rashed, Saoud Ghanem (Al-Sadd) – Yasser Nazmi (Qatar SC).
Forwards: Meshal Abdullah (Al-Ahly) – Walid Hamza, Sayyed Ali Al-Bashir (Al-Arabi) – Ibrahim Salmeen, Ali Qassem, Ali Mejbel (Al-Wakra), Mubarak Mustapha (Al-Khor), Yasser Hussein (Antwerp – Belgium).