Al Gharafa in tough group for Ooredoo Cup
Al Sadd drawn along with Al Rayyan and promoted side Al Wakra.
Qatar Stars League (QSL) Cup defending champions Al Gharafa has been clubbed with last year’s runners-up Duhail Sports Club in Group B for the new season, with the trophy rechristened as Ooredoo Cup.
The draw for the tournament was held on Sunday under the chairmanship of QSL Competitions Director Ahmed Al Adsani. Also present was Mohammed Al Ansari, Director, Field Marketing and Activation, Ooredoo.
Group B also features last edition’s semifinalist Qatar SC who had surprised Al Sadd in the quarterfinal. Al Khor, Al Sailiya and Al Arabi are the other teams in the group.
- GROUP A: Al Sadd, Al Shahania, Al Ahli, Umm Salal, Al Rayyan, Al Wakrah
- GROUP B: Al Duhail, Al Khor, Al Sailiya, Qatar SC, Al Arabi, Al Gharafa
ROLL OF HONOUR
- 2009-10: Al Gharafa
- 2010-11: Al Sadd
- 2011-12: Al Wakrah
- 2012-13: El Jaish
- 2013-14: Qatar SC
- 2014-15: Not held
- 2015-16: Not held
- 2016-17: Not held
- 2017-18: Al Gharafa
- 2018-19: Al Gharafa
In Group A, Al Sadd has last year’s quarterfinalists Al Rayyan, Al Ahli and Al Khor for company. Promoted side Al Wakrah and Umm Salal are the other two teams in the group.
“This year the competition will be much tougher as many youngsters will get a chance to play,” said Ahmed Al Adsani.
The tournament is playing during the international break where national team players are away on duty. This offers a chance for the reserve players to represent their clubs.
Al Adsani added that this was the first year that the tournament had a sponsor and felt that it would give the competition a boost.
The draw was followed by a technical committee meeting, chaired by Al Adsani. The jersey colours of each team were chosen.
Al Adsani urged the clubs to field as many reserve players as possible along with the main players. He also called upon the teams to stick to the match-day deadlines.
Al Gharafa had won the tournament thrice, two successive wins coming in 2017-18 and 2018-19.