The Qatar national football team formed in 1960, though the sport had been gaining in popularity since the end of the second world war. The team affiliated to FIFA in 1970 and joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1972. In 2022, Qatar will be the first nation to host the world cup that has not already played in the competition.
The team’s first recognised match did not come until 1970. The team travelled to Bahrain and lost 2-1. Since that début, the team’s only real success has been in the Gulf Cup. Qatar won the cup in 1992 and 2004. The team has also qualified for the Asian Cup several times, though never touched the silverware.
Qatar has entered world cup qualifying since 1978 but rarely come near to the finals. In 1998 the team reached the final round of qualifying and needed only one point from their final game to progress. Sadly, Qatar lost to Saudi Arabia and were denied. The team reached the last round again in 2002 but were similarly unsuccessful. Subsequent tournaments saw the team fall back in qualifying.