Doha, Qatar: Samuel Eto’o has described the decision to host the CAF Super Cup in Qatar for a second successive year as beneficial for fans, organisers and players.
The four-time African Player of the Year and Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy ambassador attended the match as a guest of the Confederation for African Football (CAF). He said the sold-out event at Thani Bin Jassim Stadium offered Qatar’s football-mad community another opportunity to embrace the beautiful game as the country gears up to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
“It was a magnificent idea to bring the game to Qatar,” said Eto’o, who played for Barcelona, Inter Milan and Chelsea during his 22-year career. “Everyone is aware of Qatar’s preparations for the World Cup and to be able to host events like this can only help that process continue at pace. It also gives local people the chance to see teams from other countries playing here – it’s a perfect solution.”
Eto’o, twice a winner of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, continued: “What was particularly pleasing to see when arriving at the stadium was that there were people from all over the world at this game. Qatari nationals, Africans, Europeans – it’s exactly how the World Cup will be in 2022. I think it’s going to be a magnificent experience.
African football legend hails atmosphere at Thani Bin Jassim Stadium as Zamalek overcome ES Tunis
“I have a close connection with Qatar, from playing here, to my work as an SC ambassador, so I spend a lot of time here. I know there is a very large African community here, so to have one team from Egypt and another from Tunisia competing made it even better. It is not always easy for these fans to travel so far to watch their teams, so it’s wonderful that once a year their teams can come to them.”
On the night it was Egypt’s Zamalek SC who triumphed with a comfortable 3-1 victory against Tunisia’s Espérance Sportive de Tunis. It was Zamalek’s fourth win in the cup’s 28 editions, with the Cairo side now having won the second most titles in the competition’s history.
The match was attended by a sell-out crowd in excess of 19,000. It was the second successive time the showpiece event has taken place in Doha – and following an agreement between CAF and the Qatar Football Association, it will also return in 2021 and 2022.
Eto’o said: “You can see from the ticket sales, this year and last year, and the excitement on the faces of the fans, that the decision to bring this game here was a good one. Both times it has sold out and both times it has been a wonderful atmosphere and provides people living here with the opportunity to see something they might not otherwise have been able to watch. It’s good for the fans, it’s good for the organisers and I’m sure the players love coming here too. It’s beneficial to all.”