The draw ceremony of the 2017 edition of the HH Emir Cup volleyball tournament was held in Doha on Friday with the top five teams on the league table gaining automatic qualifications into the main rounds.
League-winners Police are joined by El Jaish, Al Rayyan, Al Arabi and Shamal for the main rounds of the prestigious tournament which will be held from April 11 to 22 while Al Ahli, Al Khor, Gharafa, Al Sadd, Al Wakrah and Qatar Sports Club will participate in the qualification rounds which takes place on March 20 and 22.
This year’s tournament is a knockout format with the best of three matches to be played from April 15.
For the qualifying rounds, Al Wakrah will clash with Qatar Sports Club while Al Ahli have a date with Al Khor.
The final qualifier will be between Al Sadd and Gharafa on March 22.
El Jaish, the league runners-up, will start their campaign in the competition against the winners of the Al Wakrah-Qatar encounter while Al Rayyan will take on the qualifying team from the Al Ahli versus Al Khor clash.
Police will start their campaign for a probable double when they take on the winners between Al Sadd and Gharafa.
The Police team won their maiden league title with a game to spare, finishing on 53 points having lost only two of the 20 matches they played.
The team had earlier twice finished runners-up and twice in third place as their best performance, figured in a five-setter.
The two matches that Police lost were against former champions Al Rayyan Club and El Jaish.
Al Arabi are the defending champions of the Emir Cup, a tournament they won for the third successive year last year after posting an easy straight sets ( 25-19, 25-21 and 25-17) win over El Jaish. 2016 was one of the most successful years for the Al Arabi side as they also clinched the Super Cup as well as the League title.
The coach Maaouia Lajnef’s team will be hoping to banish the disappointments of not successfully defending their league title (they finished third) with a good performance at the Emir Cup.
Meanwhile, the top- four teams in the league – Police, El Jaish, Al Rayyan and Al Arabi will square up against each other in the Qatar Cup, a prelude for the Emir Cup, from April 2 to 8.