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World Cup Hosts Qatar Suffer Embarrassing Defeat To Northern Irish Side Linfield

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World Cup Hosts Qatar Suffer Embarrassing Defeat To Northern Irish Side Linfield

World Cup hosts Qatar have suffered a humiliating defeat just months before the start of the tournament.

Qatar, who are 51st in FIFA's world rankings, were beaten 1-0 by Northern Irish champions Linfield in a friendly in Marbella on Tuesday.

A first-half goal from forward Chris McKee was enough to hand the Belfast club victory.

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A number of Qatar's senior players featured in the match, with seven of their starting line-up also playing in their 0-0 friendly international draw with Slovenia in March.

Defeat to Linfield is an embarrassing setback for Qatar as they prepare to host the World Cup, which begins on November 21.

Felix Sanchez's side take on Ecuador on the opening day of the tournament, before facing Senegal on November 25 and the Netherlands on November 29 in their remaining Group A fixtures.

Tuesday's match also acted as a pre-season friendly for Linfield, who are training in Spain ahead of their Champions League first round qualifier against The New Saints.

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David Healy's side take on the Welsh club over two legs on July 5 and 13.

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Linfield have a history of playing – and beating – international opposition.

They defeated Kenya 1-0 at Windsor Park in 2002.

Previously they had hosted then reigning world champions Argentina in 1990, losing 1-0 against their South American opponents.

Qatar are preparing to host the World Cup, which begins on November 21 (Alamy)
Qatar are preparing to host the World Cup, which begins on November 21 (Alamy)
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Their victory over Qatar raises further doubts over the country's suitability to host the World Cup.

FIFA has faced widespread criticism for awarding the 2022 tournament to the tiny Gulf nation, which has a population over just over two million people.

Qatar has never previously qualified for the World Cup and was ranked 113th in the world when awarded hosting rights for the tournament.

Meanwhile, the country's human rights record and treatment of migrant workers has also been widely criticised since the country was named host nation back in 2010.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Qatar, Football World Cup, Football

Rory O'Callaghan
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