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Jordan plays Iran on Friday in football tourney

By Aline Bannayan - Oct 12,2023 - Last updated at Oct 12,2023

AMMAN — Jordan hosts a four nation tourney on the weekend as national football teams prepare for the 23rd World Cup 2026 qualifiers set to kick off in October, which also serve as qualifiers for the 2027 Asian Cup. 

All the teams playing are ranked higher than Jordan who is now 84th in FIFA rankings. Jordan face Iran (21) on the opening day Friday while Iraq (69) plays Qatar (61). The winners will play the final on October 17. Last year Jordan hosted Iraq, Syria and Oman and won the title after beating Oman in the final.

Newly appointed Moroccan coach Hussein Amouta named Jordan’s lineup last week including seven new players and four from the U-23 national team. Jordan’s Tamer Ta’mari, who has joined Frances’ Montpellier and is one of the French League’s  top scorers, joined the national team alongside other players abroad.

“The eventual aim would be to have a younger competitive group who can serve the national team for upcoming years,” Amouta was quoted as saying 

Jordan was drawn in Group G for the World Cup qualifiers alongside Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and the winner from the Cambodia/Pakistan match. Jordan also hopes to play for  an advanced spot in the upcoming Asian Cup 2023 slated for Qatar in January 12, 2024, where Jordan will play in Group E alongside Bahrain, Malaysia and South Korea.

Jordan lately lost two friendlies  under coach Amouta, going down to  Norway 6-0 and Azerbaijan 2-1, as the Moroccan coach is set on advancing Jordan to the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States, with Asia getting eight slots in the next edition in additional to a zonal qualifier after expanding the number to include 48 nations. 

Meanwhile,  Jordan’s U-23 team played its Egyptian counterpart Thursday evening as coach Abdullah Abu Zam’eh, who recently guided his team through qualifiers to the 6th AFC U-23 Asian Cup set for April 2024 in Qatar despite a lackluster preparation agenda, strives to boost the team’s preparedness.

The squad qualified to their 6th AFC U-23 Asian Cup after hosting Group A qualifiers, and  finished unbeaten after overcoming Brunei 9-0, Oman 1-0 and Syria 2-0 to clinch the sole qualifying spot from the group. 43 teams contested the qualifiers in 11 groups with the top team from each group together with four best second placed teams advancing to the U-23 Asian Cup alongside hosts Qatar. The top three teams from the AFC U-23 Asian Cup will advance to the Olympics while the fourth will play a playoff to advance.

This year, Jordan reached the semis of the U-23 West Asian Championship, which they won in 2021 but did not play in 2022. 


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