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Olympic team gears up for qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Jan 07,2014 - Last updated at Jan 07,2014

AMMAN — The Jordan Football Association (JFA) has named the men's Olympic team that will play in the Olympics qualifiers set for June.

The team has regrouped and will face Jazira on Thursday as part of its training agenda for the event.

The initial 32 players called up for duty will train five times a week and play a series of friendlies before naming a final line-up ahead of the training camps abroad.

Head coach Jamal Abu Abed told the JFA that the final line-up will be announced by the end of January.

"That does not mean that the line-up will not be open as players are recalled depending on their performance in the league. Only the best will represent Jordan regardless of name or club."

The coach named the line-up after the end of the U-20 league — which was won by Wihdat — in addition to careful scrutiny of the First Division League and the Pro League.

"We have a long journey ahead that needs focus and hard work," Abu Abed added.

So far, the squad had a training camp in Dubai where they beat the UAE 2-0 and lost 2-1. Jordan also beat Lebanon 2-1 and lost 1-0.

Locally the team held Wihdat 0-0 and lost 2-1, beat Faisali 4-1 before losing 3-1, lost 2-1 to Arabi and beat Shabab Urdun and Ittihad Zarqa 2-1.

Meanwhile, the national U-22 football team lost 2-1 to China and tied the UAE 1-1 as it concluded a training camp ahead of the inaugural Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-22 Championship in Muscat, slated for January 11-26.

The team held a camp in Bahrain, which was deemed successful despite missing seven players who are on national team duty now at the 8th West Asian Championship in Qatar.

In June 2012, Jordan was the first to qualify to the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship finals after leading Group D qualifiers with an unbeaten run, beating Uzbekistan 3-1, Nepal 3-0, Bangladesh 3-0 and Yemen 4-0.

Jordan will now play in Group A alongside South Korea, Myanmar and Oman starting January 11. The second edition in 2015 will qualify teams to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

There is a lot of focus on age divisions competing on the Asian scene and FIFA’s Executive Committee last month unanimously awarded Jordan as host for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2016.

In 2013, the U-19 team was eliminated from Group B AFC U-19 Championship 2014 qualifiers, where Jordan beat Afghanistan 2-1, held 0-0 with the Maldives, and lost to Yemen 2-1 and the UAE 2-0.

Meanwhile, the girls U-16 squad was eliminated from the AFC finals after qualifying for the first time. Similarly, the boys U-16 team was also eliminated from the AFC U-16 Cup 2014 qualifiers after finishing last in Group D. 

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