The Arabian Gulf Cup kicked off on 22 December to a packed crowd at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City, as the tournament’s most successful side stage the 23rd edition.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in attendance at all four opening games, was impressed by both the numbers and diversity of the football-loving fans in attendance. comprising large numbers of children, fathers and mothers.
“It was a great honour for me to attend the opening games of the 2017 Gulf Cup in Kuwait,” said President Infantino. “This tournament embraces the spirit of sportsmanship and is a great example of the values FIFA and football strive to spread all around the world.”
Originally scheduled to take place in Qatar, the tournament moved to Kuwait, accommodating all eight of the participating nations.
“It was a great pleasure to see how happy and welcoming all of the fans were of this historic tournament,” said the FIFA President. “The initiative to move the 2017 Gulf Cup from Qatar to Kuwait to celebrate this event is a strong and symbolic sign. In this respect, I would like to congratulate and thank again the Qatari football authorities for their honourable gesture.
“I would also like to thank the teams of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen for participating in this tournament. The solidarity and friendship shown by all illustrates once again the power of football to unite people across borders. To have all eight teams participating in Kuwait sends a very powerful message to the world,” he concluded.