Gulf Cup to Kick off in Qatar amid ‘Sports Diplomacy’
The 24th Arabian Gulf Cup begins in Doha on Tuesday amid the participation of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, who have been boycotting Qatar since 2017.
Along with Egypt, the three Gulf countries have severed diplomatic and economic ties with Doha over its support and financing of terrorism.
It marks the first time the boycotting countries attend an event in Qatar since the embargo, raising the possibility that the impasse may be resolved through “sports diplomacy.”
Eight countries are competing for the title: Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, holders Oman, Iraq, Yemen, Kuwait and Qatar.
The tournament kicks off on Tuesday with the hosts playing against Iraq at Doha's Khalifa Stadium.
The UAE will face Yemen in the day’s second match.
Oman and Bahrain face off on Wednesday, but sights will be set on the day’s second featured match between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
The tournament concludes on December 8.
Qatar will then host the FIFA Club World Cup from December 11 to 22.