Posted on March 14, 2018

The President of the Qatar Football Association (QFA), Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani received today, Wednesday 14 March, HE Ivonne Abdel baki, Ambassador of Ecuador to Qatar, and Ecuador’s Defence Minister, HE Patricio Zambrano Restrepo in QFA’s headquarters located in Al Bidda Tower. 

The meeting was attended by QFA Vice President Saoud Al Mohannadi, and QFA General Secretary Mansoor Al Ansari. The visit of Ecuador’s Defence Minister is on the side-lines of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (DIMDEX 2018), taking place in Qatar from 12-14 March at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar. The meeting discussed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen and further develop them. They also discussed matters of mutual interest and agreed to promote cooperation in the future to further develop football in the two countries.

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During the meeting, they discussed several matters of mutual interest. The QFA President highlighted the strength of the relationship between the Qatari and Ecuadorian football federations and the importance of building that relationship by exchanging of experience and expertise. The two parties emphasised on the importance of promoting cooperation in the future to further develop football in the two countries. HE Ivonne Abdel baki, Ambassador of Ecuador to Qatar expressed her thanks and appreciation to the QFA President for the remarkable reception and for the important role he plays in constantly supporting the development of football. She emphasised that the visit highlights the deep relations between the two countries.

She said: “We are very happy to be meeting with Sheikh Hamad today, who gives huge importance to football and advocates on the importance of excluding politics from sports. This visit highlights the great role football plays in bringing people together and building strong relations with different cultures away from politics.” “Ecuador is determined to contribute to the success of the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar. We are happy to assist in all matters to support this significant tournament. Ecuador is centrally located in the world and in Central America, which can act as a unique location to help fans from all over Central America to travel easily to Qatar to attend the games.”

“The presence of the Defence Minister in this important visit is a confirmation of the support of His Highness the President of Ecuador who stands with Qatar during the greatest football event.” “We have many Ecuadorian players playing in Europe and Latin America which showcases Ecuador’s important role in world football. I wish Qatar the best of luck in their journey to host the World Cup.” Ecuador’s Defence Minister, HE Patricio Zambrano Restrepo said: “I would like to congratulate Qatar on hosting the 2022 World Cup, I am confident that Qatar will organise a unique version of the tournament.” He praised the important role played by the Qatar in the sports sector, pointing out that Doha has become one of the most important sports cities in the world.

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He added: “Football will certainly be a strong bridge to strengthen relations between Qatar and Ecuador in the coming period from all aspects, be it political, economic, social and commercial. F​football has the ability to unite the world and bridges gaps between nations.” “We have visited a number of stadiums and sports facilities, all of which confirm that whoever attends the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be very happy to be in Qatar and surely Ecuador will be participating in the World Cup in Qatar seeing that we did not qualify to the Russia 2018 World Cup.”

When replying to a question regarding the possibility of professional Ecuadorian players playing in the QNB Stars League, he said: “Yes absolutely, we have more than 100 professional players in many international leagues, who play in Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Italy, England, Mexico and Russia, and soon there will be players in Qatar." The visit was concluded with the exchange of commemorative shields between the two sides. The President of QFA presented the Ambassador and the Minister of Defence the with the Qatar National Team jersey that has the number 22 in reference to the upcoming World Cup to be organised in Qatar.

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