The inauguration of the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup took place in the presence of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. The eight-nation tournament has now officially commenced at Khalifa International Stadium on 26th November 2019.
At the opening ceremony, participants took part in the Parade of Nations. The crowd witnessed a fantastic firework display at the stadium, a visual display of heritage paintings and also a documentary film about the history of the Gulf Cup since its inception in 1970.
A traditional sword dance was performed by the participants during the ceremony to showcase brotherhood among the people of the country. The audience and fans were left awestruck by the colorful illumination in the fan’s area.
The opening match on Tuesday which saw Iraq defeating Qatar, was distinguished by the presence of a remarkable crowd which included 37, 890 fans from across the spectrum, more than ever before wearing scarves or holding flags.
“It’s a moment of pride for all the Arab nations. We are happy that all the eight Gulf countries are participating. Our team is good and we are going to support our national team.” Ahmed Ali, an Iraqi enthusiast said.
The opening ceremony was attended by Father Amir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, H H Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Personal Representative of H H the Amir, H H Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, H H Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani and H E Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Asian champions Qatar, Iraq, Yemen and the UAE are in Group A while Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are in Group B.
The final tournament will take place on December 8.