Who are the leading people of handball in Qatar? Country who is facing the handball revolution in the last few years ahead of World Championship 2015 in Doha next January, became a very popular handball destination for all handball lovers, players and coaches. Strong teams, national teams with clear vision to be among the best at the biggest scene, TOP handball players who are playing there, famous coaches, raising media interest, making this topic even more interesting. Handball-Planet.com visited Doha last week and talked with Khalid Seif Al Kuwari, the chairman of the most successful Qatari team in the past two years, El Jaish, who will compete at the IHF Super Globe 2014 in the second week of September.
Mr Kuwari, less than six months are until World Championship 2015, here in Doha. Which are your impressions about the event and what handball world can expect from Qatar 2015?
– Qatar 2015 is something what we expect for a long time. It is a big honour to be a host of the such a big competition. We have a huge interests for TOP sports here in Qatar. All the people linked with the event will give their maximum to ensure unforgettable experience in January. Handball is the second sport in Qatar behind football. We, people from handball, are ready to make fantastic tournament.
GET READY FOR FANTASTIC EVENT
What is for you the “perfect result” of Qatari team at WCh 2015?
– We have a good team, strong line up with Goran Stojanovic, Da Costa, new, good players and mix with the youngstars, but it will be difficult to make something big. It is tough to say, but quarterfinal would be fantastic achievement.
Qatar wasn’t “dream handball destination” in the past. What happened in the last few years, how you can describe handball revolution which we are facing now?
– I can agree that handball wasn’t too interesting here in the last 10 years, but we have done a lot to make this progress, which is visible to all handball community. We are supporting players and staff, from the senior category ‘till the youngest players. That isn’t only financial support, but also boost in every aspect necessary for better sports performance.
El Jaish won all the competitions in Qatar in the last two years with you on president’s position. You still need the biggest trophy – IHF Super Globe, where you finished third last year. What was changed in El Jaish in comparation with the previous period?
– Actualy, we have changed the mentality of the club. We have seen many mistakes in the past. We solved some things, especially, mentality problem. We made a really strong staff. El Jaish is now the leader of Qatari handball. Qatari Federation supporting as in all the aspects. We have seven players in senior national team and many more in younger NT categories. Our scouting team following the players activity during the season with the most modern technology equipment. We have also people responsible for psychological work with the players, the others, who taking care about every day life of the youngstars, how day eat, live, etc. Above all, our technical staff giving the last word about the players status in the club. Our vision is to make a world class player here, in Qatar. We made a lot, but we want more. El Jaish is the best in Asia, but we want to go step further…
That means that you have a strong wish to win the IHF Super Globe in September? How far you are from that achievement?
– We achieved our goal last season, when we finished third. Tie with Hamburg was really important to show us that we are capable to play with the best European teams. As we achieved our last year’ goal – third place, our wish is to play at the final this season. We are realistic people, we know how tough it will be and against whom we have to play, but everything is possible…
OUR GOAL – IHF SUPER GLOBE 2014 FINAL
Which team you would like to see at the desired final?
You are making European profile of one Qatari team. El Jaish signed some European handball stars on long-term basis, but also looking forward for a European tour, tournament in France in the last week of August…
– Zarko Markovic and Goran Stojanovic are already here, also Nandor Fazekas is coming. They have all played in the best competitions, on the highest level in Europe, they know how to face pressure, how to play important matches, tough endings. We have also in El Jaish players from Egypt and other NT’s.
All Qatari teams had a lot of “short-term” contracts with the European stars. Which is your experience with them, about their motivation to come and play here for a while?
– I am satisfied with the guys who were in El Jaish. We are capable to sign big names and in many cases we did a good job with them, but from the other side, in generally, we can be a little angry because of that way of thinking that handball in Qatar is some kind of “second level”. Many of them come to play here a few matches only, some of them without any emotions, take money and going back to Europe. That has to be changed and also this interview can help in that way.
FOREIGNERS TO ADAPT ON MENTALITY
Some general opinion in Europe is that teams in Qatar replacing players and coaches too fast?
– Yes, it’s true and this is a problem. The main problem is that coaches can’t recognize and adapt on mentality of people here. That is linked with the topic of taking “easy” money and playing without emotions. El Jaish looking for a coach who will adapt to our mentality and system which are built in the club. We have results with the previous coach, we won some important trophies, but he didn’t go deeper to solve that issue. I was also player and the coach. It is tough job the find the good coach. We need a person who will know how to react on Arabic mentality, but also to work with mix of nationalities and mentalities in the team.
COACH AS A LONG-TERM SOLUTION
When you will announce the name of the new head-coach?
– We want to find a coach on stabil basis, to give him two-three years contract in which he will be able to achieve goals and improve our program. That is very important question for us. We don’t want interim solution.
How do you see El Jaish in the five years?
– We will give our best to make a new generation of good players and give them a chance to play on big scene. We make strong basis in the club, which have 300 members. That is our fortune for the future.
Do you believe that huge interest for handball will stay even after Qatar 2015?
– Yes, we have younger generation in which we invested a lot of money and energy. We hope that they will represent Qatar in the future. Our junior and youth teams competing at the World and Asian Championships, we have a good team, players and work with them. That’s why I think we will have here a TOP level even after 2015.
The first next “big thing” will be IHF Super Globe 2014 in September. For El Jaish, with or without trophy…
– We are dreaming about that. Insalah – concluded an interview for Handball-Planet.com, El Jaish’s president Khalid Seif Al Kuwari.
PHOTO: EL JAISH