AFC Asian Cup: Victorious Qatar team arrive to royal welcome

Updated: Feb 04, 2019, 11:25 IST | AFP

Amid chaotic scenes players and staff were mobbed by fans, friends and family before getting on an open top bus to begin the long crawl into Doha

The Qatari football team celebrate on their return to Doha on Saturday after winning the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE. Pic/AFP
The Qatari football team celebrate on their return to Doha on Saturday after winning the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE. Pic/AFP

Qatar's victorious Asian Cup football team returned home to Doha to a rapturous welcome on Saturday night, greeted by the country's ruler and hundreds of thousands of fans.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani - who high-fived children while waiting for the team to arrive - met the players as they landed to kick-start a second straight night of wild celebrations in Doha. The players were also greeted by other members of the royal family.

Amid chaotic scenes players and staff were mobbed by fans, friends and family before getting on an open top bus to begin the long crawl into Doha. "I'm proud to make these people happy," said Ali Almoez, the tournament's top scorer. "I'm proud of this thing and all the players are." He added: "For 40 years Qatari people did not celebrate, now we will celebrate for the next four years." Captain Hassan al-Haydos called the unexpected triumph and celebrations "an unthinkable feeling" that would "stay with me for life".

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