Qatar Confirms First Virus Death Among World Cup Workforce

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 16, 2020 A man wearing a mask as a precaution against COVID-19 coronavirus disease, walks along the Doha corniche in the Qatari capital. QATAR OUT / AFP.

World Cup organisers in Qatar reported the first coronavirus death of a worker involved in construction of 2022 tournament venues on Thursday.

A source close to the Qatari tournament organisers told AFP that 1,102 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed among workers at tournament projects with 121 infections still active.

First reported by the newly relaunched Doha News, a site popular among expatriates in Qatar, the victim was an engineer in his fifties who had no underlying medical conditions.

Qatar has one of the highest per capita infection rates in the world with 3.3 percent of its 2.75 million population having tested positive.

Most have since recovered with only 17,591 active cases reported in the latest official statistics alongside 104 deaths.

“Sadly, on June 11, 2020, a 51-year-old specialist engineer employed by the contractor Conspel, tragically died after contracting COVID-19,” the Qatari organisation responsible for organising the 2022 tournament said in a statement.

“He had worked on Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy projects since October 2019 and had no underlying health issues. We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”

His nationality was not disclosed.

The Qatari organisers reported the first infections among its workforce on April 15 with five cases across three stadium projects.

Work continues at 2022 sites but has slowed to allow virus containment measures including screening and social distancing to be observed with Qatari officials saying preparations are nevertheless more than 80 percent complete.

Organisers have removed all high-risk workers from projects on full pay, undertake temperature checks on workers twice daily, and imposed distancing rules in dining halls and staff transport to limit the virus’ spread.

Construction at infrastructure to stage the tournament continued through the crisis even as Qatar halted non-essential retail and mosques, parks and restaurants closed.

Qatar has begun a cautious reopening programme with socially distanced worship permitted in some Mosques and non-essential retail permitted.

Cafes and restaurants are due to reopen subject to strict controls from July 1.

The timings of the competition, due to be held in November and December of 2022, remain unchanged by the coronavirus pandemic which has already forced the postponement of the European football championships and the Tokyo Olympics.

Both will now take place in 2021.

 

 

-AFP

Qatar COVID-19 Tracing App Stirs Rare Privacy Backlash

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 16, 2020 A man wearing a mask as a precaution against COVID-19 coronavirus disease, walks along the Doha corniche in the Qatari capital. QATAR OUT / AFP.

 

Privacy concerns over Qatar’s coronavirus contact tracing app, a tool that is mandatory on pain of prison, have prompted a rare backlash and forced officials to offer reassurance and concessions.

Like other governments around the world, Qatar has turned to mobile phones to trace people’s movements and track who they come into contact with, allowing officials to monitor coronavirus infections and alert people at risk of contagion.

The apps use Bluetooth radio signals to “ping” nearby devices, which can be contacted subsequently if a user they have been near develops symptoms or tests positive, but the resultant unprecedented access to users’ location data has prompted fears about state surveillance.

Qatar’s version goes considerably further — it forces Android users to permit access to their picture and video galleries, while also allowing the app to make unprompted calls.

“I can’t understand why it needs all these permissions,” wrote Ala’a on a Facebook group popular with Doha’s large expat community — one of several such forums peppered with concerns over the app.

Justin Martin, a journalism professor based in Qatar, warned authorities in a tweet not to “erode” trust by enforcing “an app with such alarming permissions”.

The government launched the “Ehteraz” app, meaning “precaution”, in April and on Friday it became mandatory for all citizens and legal residents to install it on their phones.

Non-compliance is punishable by up to three years in jail — the same term as for failing to wear a mask in public — in a state battling one of the world’s highest per capita infection rates.

– ‘Highly invasive’ –

Almost 44,000 of Qatar’s 2.75 million people have tested positive for the respiratory disease — 1.6 percent of the population — and 23 people have died.

Security forces manned checkpoints across Qatar on Sunday to ensure use of the app, local media reported, alongside checking for use of masks.

Criticism of the government is rare in Qatar and laws prohibit disrespect towards officials.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Unease In Greece As Restaurants, Cafes Reopen

However, officials have said that the law on the app will be enforced with “understanding”.

The app’s simple interface displays coloured bar-codes containing the user’s ID number — green for healthy, red for COVID-19 positive and yellow for quarantined cases. Grey indicates suspected cases or those who have come into contact with infected individuals.

Mohamed bin Hamad Al-Thani, a director at Qatar’s health ministry, said that data gathered is “completely confidential”.

“There will be an update for the Ehteraz app to address the issues of concern and further improve its efficiency,” he added in an interview on state television on Thursday.

A new version of the software was duly released for Apple and Android on Sunday, promising “minor bug fixes”, but without indicating that the invasive aspects had been removed.

The app was introduced just as authorities across the Muslim world warned that gatherings during Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr festival that marks the end of the holy fasting month could lead to a surge of infections.

– ‘Burner’ phones –

“There are two key concerns… with the app,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Hiba Zayadin.

It “is highly invasive, with a range of permissions allowing the government access to things that are not needed for the purpose of contact tracing, permissions that are unnecessary and present a concerning invasion of privacy.”

But also “many migrant workers in the country don’t have compatible phones that would allow them to download the app and comply”.

Online reviews have also complained that the app drains battery power and cannot be installed on older iPhone handsets.

Some have looked for ways around the policy.

“People are spending money and waiting in queues just to get burner phones to protect their privacy,” wrote expat engineer Janko on one forum, referring to cheap handsets that could subsequently be disposed of.

There have been reports of a few users being wrongly classified as “quarantined” or “suspected cases”.

“There’s no need for photo access and other things. But it could be a good tool. It is a good way to prioritise whom to test,” technology lawyer Rahul Matthan told AFP.

But “to work, they need a large number of people to use it. If people are dissuaded because of the app’s overreach, then that would be a worry.”

AFP

COVID-19: Qatar Imposes Mandatory Masks On Pain Of Prison

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 16, 2020 A man wearing a mask as a precaution against COVID-19 coronavirus disease, walks along the Doha corniche in the Qatari capital. QATAR OUT / AFP.

 

Qatar on Sunday began enforcing the world’s toughest penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment for failing to wear masks in public, as it battles one of the world’s highest coronavirus infection rates.

More than 30,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the tiny Gulf country — 1.1 percent of the 2.75 million population — although just 15 people have died.

Only the micro-states of San Marino and the Vatican had higher per capita infection rates, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

Violators of Qatar’s new rules will face up to three years in jail and fines of as much as $55,000.

Drivers alone in their vehicles are exempt from the requirement, but several expats told AFP that police were stopping cars at checkpoints to warn them of the new rules before they came into force.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Crisis Punctures Tunisia Tourism Rebound

Wearing a mask is currently mandatory in around 50 countries, although scientists are divided on their effectiveness.

Authorities in Chad have made it an offence to be unmasked in public, on pain of 15 days in prison. In Morocco similar rules can see violators jailed for three months and fined up to 1,300 dirhams ($130).

Qatari authorities have warned that gatherings during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan may have increased infections.

Abdullatif al-Khal, co-chair of Qatar’s National Pandemic Preparedness Committee, said Thursday that there was “a huge risk in gatherings of families” for Ramadan meals.

“(They) led to a significant increase in the number of infections among Qataris,” he said.

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia will enforce a round-the-clock nationwide curfew during the five-day Eid al-Fitr holiday later this month to fight the coronavirus.

– Labourers at risk –

Mosques, along with schools, malls, and restaurants remain closed in Qatar to prevent the disease’s spread.

But construction sites remain open as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 World Cup, although foremen and government inspectors are attempting to enforce social distancing rules.

Officials have said workers at three stadiums have tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory virus. Masks have been compulsory for construction workers since April 26.

Tens of thousands of migrant labourers were quarantined in Doha’s gritty Industrial Area after a number of infections were confirmed there in mid-March, but authorities have begun to ease restrictions.

Khal said that most new cases were among migrant workers, although there has been a jump in infections among Qataris. He said the country had not yet reached the peak of its contagion.

Rights groups have warned that Gulf labourers’ cramped living conditions, communal food preparation areas and shared bathrooms could undermine social distancing efforts and speed up the spread of the virus.

AFP

Qatar Presses On With World Cup Projects Despite COVID-19

The official logo of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is unveiled on a giant screen in Madrid on September 3, 2019. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Work on Qatar’s World Cup stadiums and mega-projects linked to the tournament have continued apace despite tough social distancing rules to stem the spread of coronavirus among the largely migrant workforce.

Dozens of labourers with covered faces and sporting near-identical blue overalls clamoured across the vast exoskeleton of Lusail Stadium, an arena set to host the final of the 2022 tournament, AFP correspondents saw on Thursday.

Dozens of vehicles including buses, diggers and water tankers criss-crossed the complex of new parks, apartment blocks and tram stops around the stadium, which will become Qatar’s largest with a capacity of 80,000.

The number of confirmed infections among those involved in construction for 2022 facilities stands at eight across three stadium projects, but organisers have not given an updated toll since Friday.

Qatari authorities have declared 7,764 confirmed infections nationwide, 10 deaths and 750 recoveries.

The supreme committee responsible for delivering the tournament said it “is reviewing the situation on a continuous basis and will take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of all construction workers and direct staff”.

Those measures “may include temporary suspension of work as and when required,” it added in a statement.

Building work for the stadiums and infrastructure to stage the tournament has continued through the crisis even as non-essential retail has been halted and mosques, parks and restaurants have closed.

Work on roads, the airport and other infrastructure has continued during the health emergency.

From Sunday onwards, it will be compulsory for all construction workers in Qatar to wear masks.

Previously crowded buses ferrying labourers between their accommodation and work sites have been ordered to only allow one passenger for every two seats, in order to limit the transmission risk.

The labour ministry said last week it had issued a penalty to a contractor for failing to operate its worker transport buses at 50 percent capacity.

Rights groups have raised concerns that cramped living conditions, communal food preparation areas and shared sanitary facilities commonly found in labourer accommodation could exacerbate the spread of the virus and compromise social distancing measures.

 

AFP

Liverpool Target Premier League Trophies After Club World Cup Triumph

Liverpool’s English midfielder Jordan Henderson (C) lifts the trophy after winning the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup Final football match between England’s Liverpool and Brazil’s Flamengo at the Khalifa International Stadium in the Qatari capital Doha on December 21, 2019.
KARIM JAAFAR / AFP

 

Liverpool have made winning trophies a habit in 2019 and Jurgen Klopp’s side return to England and to their push for the Premier League title galvanised after being crowned world champions in Qatar on Saturday.

It is an honour the Anfield side had never before claimed but which is now theirs after Roberto Firmino’s extra-time goal secured a 1-0 victory over Flamengo in a hard-fought Club World Cup final in Doha.

The latest piece of silverware is Liverpool’s third in little over six months after they won the Champions League in June and began this season by winning the UEFA Supercup on penalties against Chelsea.

“The year 2019 for the club has been outstanding,” said defender Virgil van Dijk.

“But we shouldn’t be satisfied with it. We should keep going, keep striving for more, and keep wanting more trophies.”

READ ALSO: Liverpool Beat Flamengo To Win Club World Cup

Van Dijk returned against Flamengo after illness kept him out of the 2-1 semi-final victory against Monterrey and that determination to be back playing summed up Liverpool’s attitude towards the competition.

The Club World Cup is not held in the highest regard in Europe, coming in the middle of a busy club season.

That is in contrast to South America, with Flamengo’s huge support in Doha showing just how much Saturday’s game meant to them.

“It might have been different had we got beat, then maybe some people would have said we were wasting our time or whatever,” acknowledged Andy Robertson.

“But for us even if we did lose it was all worthwhile because we had a chance to win a trophy that the club had never won before.”

He added that “2019 has been incredible, we have won three trophies and hopefully in 2020 there is a couple more for us.”

Liverpool will continue their defence of the Champions League with a last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid in February, and host local rivals Everton in the FA Cup third round on January 5.

However, the Premier League is the one they really have in their sights as they seek a first English title since 1990.

Leicester Beaten

As well as the trophies in 2019, Klopp’s team have not lost a league game since their very first outing of the year, at Manchester City. They have won 25 and drawn one of their last 26 in the Premier League.

There was more good news for them on Saturday as nearest rivals Leicester City lost 3-1 at Manchester City, leaving Liverpool 10 points clear at the top with a game in hand.

Klopp’s squad have little time for celebrations, however, as they return to England to prepare to visit Leicester on Thursday.

But while a week in Qatar might have seemed like an unwanted distraction for some in a busy schedule, Klopp was keen to point out that his team have still played the same number of games as their challengers.

“If we hadn’t played here tonight we would have played at West Ham, so the same number of games, the same situation, and the difference is the climate, even if it was not as warm as probably Europeans would have expected at the moment,” said the German.

“It is still something we have to adapt to. But that is the only thing that is special, so it’s all good, and we need to make sure that we come home safely, and recover in the plane already, and then prepare the Leicester game.”

With several players already out, however, the downside was seeing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain go off hurt in the second half against Flamengo, and the midfielder may be set for another spell on the sidelines.

“When he was landing he got a kick and rolled over. It is far away from being perfect, but we will see if the ligament is only stretched, or ruptured partly,” Klopp said.

“It’s a big shadow again but that’s how it is in a contact sport.”

AFP

Qatar Emir To Skip Riyadh Summit Dampening Hopes

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz        Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani / AFP

 

Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, will not attend the Gulf summit in Riyadh, state media reported Tuesday, dampening hopes of a reconciliation between Doha and a Saudi-led bloc.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut all diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017 over allegations it backs radical Islamists and seeks closer ties with Saudi arch rival Tehran.

Qatar vehemently denies the allegations.

The emir named Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani to lead the Qatari delegation to Tuesday’s summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the official QNA said.

Hopes of reconciliation were high after signs of a thaw between Qatar and its former allies.

Following Saudi King Salman’s invitation to the emir, Qatar’s foreign minister said there had been “some progress” in talks with Riyadh.

Some observers had said that the summit could pave the way for a “reconciliation conference”.

Others remained sceptical, saying he was only following protocol and had invited the Qatari leader to last year’s summit as well.

Qatar’s prime minister attended a series of talks in Saudi Arabia in May, one of the first high-level contacts of the two-year boycott.

Even before the Saudi-led blockade, relations had been rocky, in part because of Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera’s critical coverage of the region’s affairs and Doha’s support for the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

The rift has seen the two sides trade barbs on everything from access to the Muslim holy city of Mecca to alleged Twitter hacking.

AFP

Qatar To Expand Airport Ahead Of 2022 World Cup

The official logo of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is unveiled on a giant screen in Madrid on September 3, 2019. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Qatar announced Tuesday a major expansion of its Hamad international airport, almost doubling the number of visitors it can receive as the Gulf state prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.

Work on the first phase of the expansion is scheduled to start next year and be completed two years later, expanding capacity from 35 million to 53 million passengers annually.

The second phase is due to be completed after 2022 and will enable the airport, inaugurated in 2014, to handle up to 60 million passengers per year.

The decision to revamp the only international airport in gas-rich Qatar comes despite a fall in the number of tourists visiting the emirate as a result of a two-year boycott mounted by neighbouring countries.

“The expansion… is a vital part of the future success of the Qatar Airways group, and of course of the country’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup and beyond,” said the carrier’s CEO Akbar al-Baker.

The cost of the expansion project was not revealed.

Qatar has been under a land, air and sea embargo since June 2017 by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, as well as Egypt, over its alleged support of radical groups.

Doha has categorically denied the accusations.

London-based Capital Economics said last month that the number of visitors to Qatar had dropped by 20 percent from pre-boycott levels “reflecting weak arrivals from the rest of the Gulf”.

In the first year of the blockade, flights to Doha dived 25 percent and Qatar Airways flights sank 20 percent, according to Capital Economics.

Qatar Airways reported last month that it posted $639 million in losses in the fiscal year ending in March, attributing the loss to closure of some major destinations.

To ward off the impact of the boycott, Qatar implemented an economic diversification plan and opened Hamad Port last year to boost trade and facilitate export-import services.

Also on Tuesday, Qatar opened a new temporary passenger terminal at Doha Port, as it works to increase the number of cruise ships making calls in the Gulf state.

Authorities said the terminal will serve until the completion of a port expansion plan due in 2022.

Projects related to the World Cup, estimated at dozens of billions of dollars, have not been affected by the boycott.

Qatar expects to host some 1.5 million visitors during world football’s premier event.

Qatar To Test New 2022 Stadium During Club World Cup

The official logo of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is unveiled on a giant screen in Madrid on September 3, 2019. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Qatar will inaugurate the third of its eight World Cup stadiums when the Education City ground hosts the Club World Cup semi-final tie on December 18, FIFA said on Monday.

The 40,000-seat venue seven kilometres (four miles) outside central Doha will also host the third-place play-off and the final of the tournament which gets underway on December 11.

The inaugural game will see Liverpool, as European champions, face either CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey, Al Sadd of Qatar or minnows Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia who are Oceania champions.

The 2022 hosts have so far inaugurated the newly-built al-Janoub stadium in May, as well as the Khalifa International stadium which opened in 1976 and was relaunched in 2017 after a full refurbishment.

“With all three venues located a maximum of 12 kilometres from central Doha, the FIFA Club World Cup 2019 will provide a glimpse of Qatar’s compact nature ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022,” FIFA said in a statement.

“Taking place around the same time of the year and with matches kicking off from 17:00 local time (1400 GMT), this year’s tournament will also give teams and fans alike the chance to experience Qatar’s mild winter.”

Average temperatures are expected to range between 15 and 24 celsius (59 to 75 Fahrenheit), it added.

Hassan al-Thawadi, the secretary general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said following Al-Janoub’s opening in May that two further new stadiums would be ready “by the end of this year (or) first quarter” 2020.

The exact date would depend on the timing of events to launch the two venues, he added.

“By 2021 all our stadiums will be ready,” he said.

AFP

Qatar Accuses UAE Of ‘Violence And Hatred’ At World Court

Courtesy: www.google.com/maps

 

Qatar accused the United Arab Emirates Wednesday of a “campaign of violence and hatred” against its citizens, urging the International Court of Justice to quash a case brought by Abu Dhabi.

The Gulf states are locked in a battle at the UN’s top court, where the UAE on Tuesday asked judges to stop Qatar “severely aggravating” a two-year-old crisis between Doha and other countries in the oil-rich region.

Qatar’s lawyers, however, hit back, saying, in fact, it was Abu Dhabi who continued with “discriminatory policies that severely impacted Qatari citizens.”

“It is the Qatari people who are the true victims in the racial discrimination case, not the government of the UAE,” Qatar’s representative Mohammed Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi said.

This included Abu Dhabi’s move to gag the Doha-based and state-funded Al Jazeera global news network, which was accused of spreading “propaganda”, the lawyer told the Hague-based tribunal.

“The silencing of… media voices is part-and-parcel of the UAE’s campaign to incite violence and hatred against Qataris,” Khulaifi said.

“Qatar has long been engaged in the fight against global terrorism and it continues to be.”

Qatar has faced an economic and diplomatic boycott since June 2017 by Gulf rivals who accused Doha of backing terrorism and being too close to regional rival Iran.

Doha has repeatedly denied the claims, accusing its rivals of seeking regime change and alleging the UAE broke the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD).

Last June, in a case brought by Qatar, the ICJ ruled that the UAE must allow families which include Qatari members to be reunited and that Qatari students must be given the chance to complete their education in the Emirates.

But Abu Dhabi on Tuesday went back to court, accusing Doha of blocking its own citizens from accessing Emirati websites to ease travel issues, and therefore failing to honour last year’s judgment.

Khulaifi parried those claims on Wednesday, saying that Qatar found a “high-risk security breach” on the UAE’s website including so-called “malware” designed to infiltrate Qatar’s information systems.

He said Doha told Abu Dhabi about the breach but the UAE was “yet to take steps.”

Lift Visa Ban On Nigerians, Saraki Urges Qatar

 

 

Senator Bukola Saraki has asked the Government of Qatar to look into the issue of visiting visas not being granted to Nigerians wishing to visit Qatar.

The Senate President made the plea during a meeting with the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, in Doha.

Saraki who led a National Assembly delegation to the 140th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) taking place in Doha, lamented that the visa ban is negatively affecting Nigerians as it prevents them from visiting Qatar.

Dr. Saraki also met with the President of Inter-Parliamentary Union, Gabriela Cuevas Barron in Doha, Qatar.

The Senate President on Saturday morning arrived Doha, Qatar, as leader of the National Assembly’s delegation to the 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting that commenced on 5th April, and to end on 8th April 2019.

Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun Suleimon is the deputy leader of the delegation. Other lawmakers on the trip include Senators Duro Faseyi and Ibrahim Rafiu Adebayo.

Hon. Ikon Samuel Okon, Hon. Igbokwe Raphael Nnanna, Hon. Fulata Abubakar Hassan, Hon. Goodhead Boma and Hon. Dasuki Abdussammad, are also part of the delegation.

National Assembly officials on the trip include the Clerk to the Senate, Mr. Nelson Ayewoh, Director, General Duties, Ms. Navati Illiya, Director (H/R), Mr. Atiku Ibrahim, Director, Secretary to the Delegation, Shehu Umar and Clerk, Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, Mr. Bernard Okoh, among others.

READ ALSO: ‘We Did Not Suspend Issuing Tourist Visas To Nigerian Nationals,’ Says UAE

Neymar To Visit Qatar For Medical Test After Injury

I Need A Month To Recover From Operation, Says Neymar
Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian forward Neymar Jr/ AFP

 

Neymar will travel to Qatar to undergo a “complete assessment” six weeks into his recovery from a fractured right foot, Paris Saint-Germain said on Thursday.

Brazil forward watched on forlornly from the stands at the Parc des Princes as PSG crashed out of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday to Manchester United on away goals following a 3-1 defeat.

“Neymar Jr will travel to Aspetar (sports clinic) in Qatar for the next 3 days as scheduled in the initial recovery plan,” the club wrote on its Twitter account.

READ ALSO: ‘It’s A Disgrace’, Neymar Says After PSG Crash

“He will undertake a complete assessment after six weeks of his injury. He will be accompanied by a medical team from PSG.”

The 27-year-old damaged the fifth metatarsal in his right foot in a French Cup win over Strasbourg on January 23 and was ruled out for 10 weeks.

PSG were hoping he would be healed enough to get back on the pitch in time for a potential Champions League quarter-final in April, but the French side suffered a humiliating exit as United sensationally overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

AFP

FIFA U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles Draw USA, Qatar, Ukraine In Group D

Fying Eagles players pose.                                                             Credit: NFF

 

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have been drawn in group d for the 2019 FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Poland.

The Flying Eagles who qualified as the 4th best team in Africa will face Qatar, Ukraine and the United States of America in the group phase.

Under 20 world cup winners, Bebeto and Fernando Couto made the draw in front of numerous coaches and icons of Polish football.

READ ALSO: Liverpool Go Top Of EPL With Draw At Old Trafford

Nigeria’s Opening match is against Qatar on Friday, May 24th, followed by the US on Monday, May 27 and Ukraine on Thursday, May 30.

The 2019 Under-20 World Cup will kick-off on May 23 and end on June 15.

Both the opening game and the final will be played in Lodz, while Bielsko-Biala, Bydgoszcz, Gdynia, Lublin and Tychy will all host at least two matches with a seeded team.