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Qatar national team Brazilian coach Paulo Autuori relaxes in Manama, Bahrain, along with national team manager Abdulrahman Al Mahmoud, ahead of the draw of the 2013 Gulf Club. Qatar were drawn along side hosts Bahrain, Oman and the UAE in Group A of the 2013 Gulf Cup. The region’s showpiece event will be held in Bahrain from January 5 to 18.
MANAMA, Bahrain: Former champions Qatar yesterday were drawn along side hosts Bahrain, Oman and the UAE in Group A of the 2013 Gulf Cup.
The region’s showpiece national team football event will be held in Bahrain from January 5 to 18.
In Group B, defending champions Kuwait have the company of football powerhouses Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The draw ceremony was staged in Manama yesterday in the presence of football officials from around the Gulf region at the Bahrain National Museum.
Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the 21st Gulf Cup Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa was also present at the draw ceremony.
Tournament Director Ahmed Al Nuaimi was also present as were the members of the Technical Committee comprising of Qatar’s Saud Al Mohannadi.
Several TV stations including Qatar’s Al Kass Channel, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel of the UAE, Sky News, and Al Arabiya, based in Abu Dhabi, broadcast the ceremony live.
The organising committee yesterday also launched its official account on different social networks on the internet in a bid to spread news related to the tournament.
The account also provides media content of photos, videos, official comments from senior sports representatives in the GCC and latest updates on Bahrain’s preparations.
It was announced that over 1,000 followers have already logged on the twitter account.
The 2013 Gulf Cup is the 21st edition of the biennial football competition.
The competition was originally going to be hosted in the city of Basra, Iraq, but was moved to Bahrain in October 2011 to ensure that Iraq could suitably host the competition in the 22nd edition.
Iraq will organise the 22nd edition in December 2014 or January 2015.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the GCC football heads in Kuwait last year in November.
“The reason behind the change is to ensure the capability of Iraq to host the tournament in the most ideal manner,” Kuwait Football Association President Sheikh Talal Fahad Al Sabah said at the time.
The Gulf Cup of Nations was founded at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico by Persian Gulf nations, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The First Gulf Cup tournament took place in Bahrain in 1970, and was won by the Kuwaiti team.
For the first time, the 17th edition of the tournament, held in Doha, Qatar in 2004, featured sports such as handball, basketball, and volleyball.