Qatar National Library Opens Exhibition to Celebrate History of Football in Qatar

17 November 2022

Qatar National Library has opened an exhibition to celebrate the growth and history of football in Qatar as the nation gears up to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the first time the world’s biggest sporting event will take place in the Middle East.

The exhibition, titled: "Goooal! How Football Kicked off in Qatar", kicked off on 15 November and is set to run until the end of February 2023. It depicts Qatar’s footballing journey, providing insights into the game’s origins and familiarizing visitors with how the sport began and developed throughout the decades and in the lead up to this year's tournament.

The event was attended by His Excellency Dr. Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, Minister of State and President of Qatar National Library, His Excellency Saad Al Rumaihi, President of the Qatar Press Center, Tan Huism, Executive Director of Qatar National Library and the local football ambassadors of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Qatar hosted its first major international tournament in 1988 when it organized the AFC Asian Cup. It further won the Asian trophy for the first time in 2019, having previously won the Gulf Cup tournament in 1992, 2004 and 2014.

Commenting on the occasion Dr. Al-Kawari said: “This exhibition adds momentum to the great football celebration that our country and the world is witnessing, and this important global event serves as a unique opportunity for cultural exchange and understanding between people from around the world.

“Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup is a perfect example of the country's belief in sport as an influential soft power within cultural diplomacy that will strengthen our ties with all countries of the world. The opening of the exhibition today is of great importance as it showcases the rich cultural and documentary material of football in Qatar for World Cup fans and the community to see," he added.

This year marks Qatar’s participation in the World Cup for the first time, more than half a century after the Qatari national team played its first-ever competitive match in the 1970 Gulf Cup. The youth team gave Qatar its first taste of international success in 1981 when the national team made it to the final of the World Youth Championships in Australia after famously beating both Brazil and England.

Hosted by the Library, the exhibition showcases these achievements among others to shed light on Qatar’s sports history in line with the Library’s mission to preserve the country’s heritage and spread knowledge.