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Date: 12/22/2016

Coach: Valero Rivera


Key Players: Danijel Saric (Goalkeeper), Rafael Capote (Left Back)


Qualification information: Runners-up at 2015 Men’s World Championship


History in Tournament: 1954-2001: DNQ, 2003: 16th, 2005: 21st, 2007: 23rd, 2009-2011: DNQ, 2013: 20th, 2015: 2nd




Qatar are a relatively new arrival at the top level of men’s handball – but when they did arrive, it was with a bang. The Asian champions went from 20th at the 2013 IHF Men’s World Championship to an unprecedented 2nd at the 24th IHF Men’s Handball World Championship in January 2015. Prior to that their highest ranking on the world stage was 16th, though they had experienced continental successes including winning the Asian Championship in 2014.


In 2016 Qatar again claimed the Asian title, only months after they won the Asian Olympic Tournament in November 2015 to secure their nation’s first ever berth at the Olympic Games. Considering their success at the 2015 World Championship Qatar were one of the favourites to win a medal at Rio 2016, but they were eliminated from the gold-medal race in the quarter-final stage by Germany – the very team Qatar knocked out of the running at the World Championship 18 months before.


Qatar nevertheless ranked eighth overall, and boasted the second-best goalkeeper of the competition in the form of Danijel Saric, who saved at an average of 35% through the tournament. Left back Rafael Capote was the sixth top goal scorer with a tally of 40, while right back Zarko Markovic was eighth with 33. All three were a key component in Qatar’s World Championship success, with Saric stopping a total of 75 shots to rank as third-best keeper and Capote and Markovic named as the All-Star players in their respective positions.


Under the leadership of 2013 World Championship winning coach Valero Rivera, who led Spain to the title two years before guiding Qatar to silver, the Asian champions have become one of the top forces in men’s handball. After the disappointment of leaving Rio 2016 empty handed, the squad will undoubtedly be set on a stronger showing at France 2017.


Qatar appear to have a good chance of finishing near or at the top of the Group D table at the end of the preliminary round, where they will meet Rio 2016 gold medallists Denmark, Sweden – who went from 2nd at London 2012 to finish 11th at the Rio Games, and have subsequently undergone a change in coaching staff, Egypt, Bahrain and Argentina. However, five of these six teams were on court in Rio de Janeiro, where the results of the competition made it clear that any team could beat any other.


Group at France 2017:

Group D: Qatar, Denmark, Sweden, Egypt, Bahrain, Argentina


Games at France 2017:

All times local


Friday 13 January:           QAT vs EGY 14:00

Sunday 15 January:        BRN vs QAT 17:45

Tuesday 17 January:      QAT vs ARG 17:45

Wednesday 18 January:               SWE vs QAT 20:45

Friday 20 January:           QAT vs DEN 20:45



IHF Social Media during France 2017

Follow the 2017 IHF Men’s World Championship on the IHF.info France 2017 mini-site on our website, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+.


Official France 2017 channels

Join in the conversation around the world using the hashtag #PhenomenalHandball and through the official France 2017 channels – website (EN), website (FR), Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube


For Qatar

Official federation website and social media channels Facebook, Twitter, Instagram