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The Qatar national football team (Arabic: منتخب قطر لكرة القدم‎) represents Qatar in international football and is controlled by the Qatar Football Association.

Qatar
Nickname(s)العنابي
(The Maroons)
AssociationQatar Football Association
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationWAFF (West Asia)
Head coachFélix Sánchez Bas
CaptainHassan Al-Haydos[1]
Most capsHassan Al-Haydos (125)
Top scorerSebastian Soria (40)
Home stadiumVarious
FIFA codeQAT
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 62 Steady (19 September 2019)[2]
Highest51 (August 1993, October 1993)
Lowest113 (November 2010)
Elo ranking
Current 39 Increase 40 (13 September 2019)[3]
Highest24 (February 2019)
Lowest135 (April 1975)
First international
 Bahrain 2–1 Qatar 
(Bahrain; 27 March 1970)
Biggest win
 Qatar 15–0 Bhutan 
(Doha, Qatar; 3 September 2015)
Biggest defeat
 Kuwait 9–0 Qatar 
(Kuwait; 8 January 1973)
World Cup
Appearances1 (first in 2022)
Asian Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1980)
Best resultChampions, 2019
Copa América
Appearances1 (first in 2019)
Best resultGroup stage, 2019

The team has appeared in ten Asian Cup tournaments and won it once in 2019. They play their home games at Khalifa International Stadium and Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium. The latter is considered the home stadium for the team.[4]

Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup and therefore qualify automatically for what will be their first appearance in the finals. This will be the first time the host nation has never previously competed at the World Cup since the second World Cup in 1934 and the first time that an Arab nation will host the competition.

HistoryEdit

Pre–1970Edit

Football was brought to Qatar during a time which coincided with initial discovery of oil reserves in Dukhan in 1940.[5] By 1948, expatriate oil workers played the first official football match in Qatar. The Qatar Football Association was formed in 1960, and the QFA joined FIFA in 1970.[6] Simultaneously during this period, the Bahrain Football Association were drawing up plans for the establishment of a regional football competition within the GCC and Qatari officials were involved with the corroboration of this proposal.[7] The plans came to fruition and in March 1970 the Arabian Gulf Cup was inaugurated.

1970–1980Edit

The Qatar national team played its first official match on 27 March 1970 against hosts Bahrain, losing 1–2 as Mubarak Faraj scored the sole goal for Qatar.[8] The newly formed Qatar national team posted underwhelming results in the first Gulf Cup tournament, coming in last place with a single point, with the highlight of their tournament being a 1–1 draw with the Saudis in their final match.[9]

In the next edition of the Gulf Cup in 1972, Qatar was again relegated to last place after suffering 3 straight defeats.[10] The next tournament in 1974 proved to be somewhat of a break-through for the Qataris as they achieved their first triumph in international football with a 4–0 victory over Oman. The Qataris lost out to Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals, but achieved a 3rd place standing after emerging the victors of a penalty shoot-out against the United Arab Emirates.[11]

The first time they entered the qualifying stages for the AFC Asian Cup was in 1975. They were not successful in qualifying for the 1976 Asian Cup, with Iraq and Saudi Arabia booking the group's two qualifying berths. Despite this setback, Qatar finished in 3rd place in the 1976 Gulf Cup as the host nation the next year.[12]

The national team played its first FIFA World Cup qualifying match in 1977. Qatar was set to play the United Arab Emirates on 11 March 1977, but the last minute withdrawal of the Emirati team from the competition merely postponed Qatar's debut until two days later when Bahrain were defeated 2–0 in Doha.[13]

1980–1990Edit

Their Asian Cup debut came in 1980 under head coach Evaristo de Macedo. They had qualified for the tournament after topping a relatively easy group composing of Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Their showing in the main tournament was unimpressive, making an early exit from the group stages with two defeats, one draw and one win.[14]

Qatar narrowly lost to Iraq in the finals of the 1984 Gulf Cup, nonetheless they were named runners-up, their most impressive accolade until 1992.[15]

They failed to make it out of the preliminary stages of the 1982 and 1986 World Cup qualifying rounds. However, the team qualified for both the 1984 and 1988 editions of the Asian Cup. They fell short of qualifying for the semi-finals of the 1984 tournament, with Saudi Arabia's Mohaisen Al-Jam'an's 88th-minute goal against Kuwait ensuring a semi-final position for both teams. They also missed out on a semi-final place in 1988; however, they notably defeated Japan by a score of 3–0.[16]

1990–2000Edit

Qatar arguably reached its peak in the 1990s, attaining its highest-ever FIFA rating (53) in August 1993.[17] Qatar started off with an emphatic qualifying campaign for the 1990 World Cup, finishing at the top of their group. They were denied a spot in the World Cup after finishing below the United Arab Emirates and South Korea in the final round of the qualifiers.

In 1990, the national team once again finished runners-up in the Gulf Cup as Kuwait won the final two matches of the tournament.[18] Two years later, they won the competition on home soil for the first time under the leadership of Sebastião Lapola, despite a 1–0 loss against Saudi Arabia in their final game.[19] They were also named runners-up in the 1996 Gulf Cup.

Qatar reached the Asian Zone's final qualifying round for France 1998. After wins against China and Iran, they played their last match against Saudi Arabia, where a victory would have earned qualification. However, they lost out as Saudi Arabia won 1–0 to reach the finals.

As 1998 Arab Nations Cup hosts, they finished runners-up to Saudi Arabia.[20]

2000–2010Edit

 
Sebastián Soria is Qatar's top scorer.

They made it to the quarter-finals of the 2000 Asian Cup despite finishing 3rd in their group, but lost to China in their quarter-final confrontation.[21]

They reached the final qualifying round again in 2001, but were defeated by Bora Milutinovic's China team, who topped the section to progress to their first FIFA World Cup. Frenchman Philippe Troussier took the manager's job after the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, but was unsuccessful in both the 2004 Asian Cup and the qualifying campaign for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Troussier was sacked after the World Cup qualifying campaign, and under Bosnian Džemaludin Mušović, the team won the Gulf Cup in 2004 and the Asian Games gold in 2006. Mušović stepped down after Qatar only earned two points from three matches in the 2007 Asian Cup.

The job of coaching the team in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup fell to Jorge Fossati, who led the team throughout the first and second AFC rounds up to the third round. After leaving them at the top of their group with only two played matches, Fossati had to undergo stomach surgery. Subsequently, the Qatar Football Association ended their co-operation with him in September 2008, as the QFA claimed he needed too long to recover from surgery.[22] Bruno Metsu was called up for the job, but Qatar failed to qualify after finishing fourth in their qualifying group.

2010–presentEdit

 
Qatar national team in 2011 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds.

Qatar was announced as hosts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in December 2010.[23]

In 2011, as hosts of the 2011 Asian Cup, they advanced to the quarter-finals. They succumbed to a late 2–3 defeat to eventual champions Japan after a goal was scored by Masahiko Inoha in the 89th minute.

Also as hosts, they went on to win the 2014 WAFF Championship after defeating Jordan 2–0 in the final. The competition was made up primarily of youth and reserve teams, of which Qatar's was the latter.[24] Djamel Belmadi, the head coach of the B team, replaced Fahad Thani as the head coach of the senior team as a result of the team's positive performances. 10 months later, Djamel Belmadi led Qatar to gold in the 2014 Gulf Cup. They advanced from the group stages after three draws, going on to defeat Oman 3–1 in the semi-final, and were victorious in the final against Saudi Arabia, who were playing in front of a home crowd, by a margin of 2–1.[25]

Despite winning the Gulf Cup and finishing the year 2014 with only one defeat, Qatar showed a poor form in the 2015 Asian Cup. Qatar was defeated 1–4 by the United Arab Emirates in their opener. This was continued with a 0–1 loss to Iran and 1–2 to Bahrain. Qatar was eliminated in the group stages with no points and placed 4th in Group C.

Qatar's campaign in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was a surprise. Their start in the second round of World Cup qualifying in the AFC was nearly perfect, with seven wins and only one loss. However, their success in the second round didn't follow them to the third round. Qatar finished bottom of their group, ensuring they will play their first World Cup match on home soil in 2022, the first team to do so since Italy in 1934.

 
Qatar's players celebrating the country's first-ever Asian Cup title in the 2019.

Qatar continued its poor form in the 2017 Gulf Cup, which was hosted by Kuwait. Qatar opened the tournament with a 4–0 win against Yemen, but that was followed by a 1–2 loss to Iraq and an unconvincing 1–1 draw to Bahrain. Qatar took the third place in Group B with four points and was eliminated in the group stage of the competition, which was considered as an upset of the tournament, especially after winning the 2014 edition.

Qatar starting line-up against Japan at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Final, a match they won 3–1.

However, Qatar had an excellent campaign at the 2019 Asian Cup. Their opener saw them defeat Lebanon 2–0. This was followed by a 6–0 thrashing of North Korea and a 2–0 win against three-time champions Saudi Arabia, which sealed the team getting first place in the group. They had a 1–0 win against Iraq in the Round of 16 and a late win against defending runners-up South Korea in the quarter-finals, seeing them through to the semi-finals for the first time ever, where they defeated the hosts United Arab Emirates 4–0 to set up a final against 4-time winners Japan. Qatar ended up winning the final 3–1 over Japan, marking their first ever major tournament title in their history, and capping off one of the most improbable Asian Cup runs in the tournament's history, especially since they conceded only one goal in all their games.[26]

Qatar was invited to the 2019 Copa América. They were placed in Group B with Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay. Their first game was against Paraguay where they came back from a 2–0 deficit to tie it 2–2 but marked for the first time Qatar suffered more than one goal in any major competition since winning the Asian Cup in UAE.[27] It was followed by a 0–1 loss to Colombia, ending the team's undefeated streak in any major competition to eight.[28] A 0–2 loss to Argentina meant Qatar took the last place in Group B with a single point and was eliminated in the group stage of the competition.[29]

Naturalised foreign playersEdit

While it is reasonably common for footballers to represent national teams other than their birth nations,[30] the nature and extent of the practice for the Qatari team has been the subject of scrutiny and criticism at various points during the twenty-first century. In 2004, FIFA cited the intention of three Brazilian players – Aílton, Dedé and Leandro – to play for the Qatar national team as the immediate trigger to their decision to tighten eligibility rules to ensure players have ties to the country they represent.[31][32]

Qatar continued to pursue a strategy of naturalising foreign-born players, within the limitations of the new rules, and it continued to prove controversial. The "Aspire Football Dreams" program of recruitment of boys from Africa to an academy in Qatar drew a substantial amount of criticism. While Qatari authorities described it as a humanitarian effort and a way to provide competition for native Qatari players, critics claimed that it was merely another exploitative way of acquiring naturalised players,[33] with Vice linking it to human rights abuses and the kafala system.[34]

In a 2015 friendly against Algeria, six of the eleven of the players in the starting team were born outside of Qatar.[35] Then president of FIFA, Sepp Blatter warned Qatar that FIFA would monitor their player selection to ensure that they were not relying too heavily on naturalised players. He made comparisons to the Qatar national handball team, referring to the team's selection for the 2015 World Men's Handball Championship as an "absurdity".[36] The following year, naturalised players formed the backbone of the team and were sufficiently integral that head coach Jorge Fossati threatened to resign if they were removed.[37][38]

The reliance on naturalised players has subsequently reduced, with only two members of the squad that beat Switzerland in a 2018 friendly being born outside the country.[39] However, at the 2019 Asian Cup, amidst diplomatic tensions between the two countries, the United Arab Emirates Football Association lodged a formal complaint against Qatar, alleging that Almoez Ali and Bassam Al-Rawi were not eligible to play for them.[40] These complaints were dismissed by the AFC.[41][42]

Competitive recordEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

FIFA World Cup FIFA World Cup qualification
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 to   1970 Did not enter Did not enter
  1974 Withdrew from Qualifiers Withdrew from Qualifiers
  1978 Did not qualify 4 1 0 3 3 9
  1982 4 2 0 2 5 3
  1986 4 2 0 2 6 3
  1990 11 4 6 1 12 8
  1994 8 5 1 2 22 8
  1998 11 6 1 4 21 10
    2002 14 7 4 3 24 13
  2006 6 3 0 3 16 8
  2010 16 6 4 6 16 20
  2014 14 5 5 4 18 14
  2018 16 9 1 6 35 14
  2022 Qualified as hosts Qualified as hosts
      2026 To be determined To be determined
Total 1/23 - - - - - - - 108 50 22 36 178 110

Asian CupEdit

AFC Asian Cup AFC Asian Cup qualification
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
 1956 Did not enter Did not enter
 1960
  1964
  1968
  1972
  1976 Did not qualify 6 2 1 3 5 8
  1980 Group stage 8th 4 1 1 2 3 8 4 3 1 0 10 2
  1984 Group stage 5th 4 1 2 1 3 3 4 3 0 1 11 1
  1988 Group stage 5th 4 2 0 2 7 6 Qualified as hosts
  1992 Group stage 6th 3 0 2 1 3 4 2 2 0 0 8 2
  1996 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 5 4
  2000 Quarter-finals 8th 4 0 3 1 3 5 4 3 1 0 11 3
  2004 Group stage 14th 3 0 1 2 2 4 6 3 2 1 10 7
        2007 Group stage 14th 3 0 2 1 3 4 6 5 0 1 14 4
  2011 Quarter-finals 7th 4 2 0 2 7 5 Qualified as hosts
  2015 Group stage 13th 3 0 0 3 2 7 6 4 1 1 13 2
  2019 Champions 1st 7 7 0 0 19 1 8 7 0 1 29 4
  2023 To be determined 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total Best: Champions 10/17 39 13 11 15 52 47 50 34 6 10 116 36

Asian GamesEdit

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
Asian Games record
Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA
  1951 Did not enter
  1954
  1958
  1962
  1966
  1970
  1974
  1978 Group stage 3 0 1 2 3 7
  1982 Did not enter
  1986 Group stage 3 0 2 1 2 3
  1990 Did not enter
  1994 Group stage 3 0 3 0 5 5
  1998 Quarter-finals 6 4 1 1 9 4
2002–present See Qatar national under-23 football team
Total 4/13 15 4 7 4 19 19

Olympic GamesEdit

Since 1992, the Olympic team has been drawn from a squad with a maximum of three players over 23 years age, and the achievements of this team are not generally regarded as part of the national team's records, nor are the statistics credited to the players' international records.

Summer Olympic Games record Qualifications record
Hosts / year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1972 Did not qualify Unknown
  1976
  1980
  1984 Group stage 15th 3 0 1 2 2 5
  1988 Did not qualify
1992 – present See Qatar national under-23 team See Qatar national under-23 team
Total Group stage 1/17 3 0 1 2 2 5 Unknown

Gulf CupEdit

Gulf Cup
Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA
  1970 4th 3 0 1 2 4 7
  1972 4th 3 0 0 3 0 10
  1974 Semi-finals 3 1 0 2 5 4
  1976 3rd 6 4 1 1 11 6
  1979 5th 6 2 1 3 4 13
  1982 5th 5 2 0 3 5 4
  1984 Runners-up 7 4 1 2 10 6
  1986 4th 6 2 2 2 7 8
  1988 6th 6 1 2 3 4 8
  1990 Runners-up 4 1 2 1 4 4
  1992 Champions 5 4 0 1 8 1
  1994 4th 5 1 1 3 6 8
  1996 Runners-up 5 3 1 1 9 5
  1998 6th 5 0 3 2 3 8
  2002 Runners-up 5 4 0 1 7 4
  2003 3rd 6 2 3 1 5 3
  2004 Champions 5 3 2 0 10 7
  2007 Group stage 3 0 1 2 2 4
  2009 Semi-finals 4 1 2 1 2 2
  2010 Group stage 3 1 1 1 3 3
  2013 Group stage 3 1 0 2 3 5
  2014 Champions 5 2 3 0 6 3
  2017 Group stage 3 1 1 1 6 3
Total Best: Champions 103 39 25 39 119 124

The Arabian Gulf Cup has been played on a bi-annual basis since 1970. The tournament has changed since the first edition from a round-robin basis to a knockout tournament in the latter years. Notably, the 2000 edition was cancelled and the 2003 and 2010 were moved due to congested fixture lists with other tournaments, such as the Asian Cup.

Pan Arab GamesEdit

Pan Arab Games record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1953 Did Not Participate
  1957
  1961
  1965
  1976
  1985
  1997
  1999 First stage 10 2 0 0 2 0 4
  2007 Did Not Participate
  2011 Group stage 6 2 0 2 0 2 2
Total Group stage 2/10 4 0 2 2 2 6

WAFF ChampionshipEdit

West Asian Football Federation Championship
Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA
2000 to 2007 Did not enter
  2008 Semi-finals 3 1 0 2 2 9
2010 to 2012 Did not enter
  2014 Champions 4 4 0 0 10 1
Total Best: Champions 7 5 0 2 12 10

Arab Nations CupEdit

Arab Nations Cup
Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA
  1963 Did not enter
  1964
  1966
  1985 4th 4 1 2 1 3 2
  1988 Did not enter
  1992
  1998 Runners-up 4 3 0 1 7 5
  2002 Did not enter
  2012
Total Best: Runners-up 8 4 2 2 10 7

Copa AméricaEdit

Qatar was the second team from outside the Americas to participate in the Copa América, and was invited for the first time in 2019.

CONMEBOL Copa América record
Hosts / year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
  2019 Group stage 10th 3 0 1 2 2 5
    2020 Invited
Total Group stage 2/47 3 0 1 2 2 5

Results and fixturesEdit

The following are Qatar's results in the last 12 months and upcoming fixtures.

  Win   Draw   Loss

2019Edit

2020Edit

All time team head to head recordsEdit

The following table shows Qatar's all-time international record, correct as of 23 June 2019.

  Positive Record   Neutral Record   Negative Record

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Saad Al Sheeb (1990-02-19) 19 February 1990 (age 29) 58 0   Al-Sadd
22 1GK Mohammed Al-Bakri (1997-03-28) 28 March 1997 (age 22) 2 0   Al-Duhail SC
21 1GK Meshaal Barsham (1998-02-14) 14 February 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Al-Sadd SC
24 1GK Yazan Naim (1997-06-05) 5 June 1997 (age 22) 0 0   Umm Salal SC

3 2DF Abdelkarim Hassan (1993-08-28)28 August 1993 (aged 25) 88 11   Al-Sadd
16 2DF Boualem Khoukhi (1990-07-09) 9 July 1990 (age 29) 66 18   Al Sadd SC
20 2DF Ali Afif (1988-01-20) 20 January 1988 (age 31) 56 10   Al-Duhail SC
2 2DF Ró-Ró (1990-08-06)6 August 1990 (aged 28) 50 1   Al-Sadd
4 2DF Al-Mahdi Ali Mukhtar (1992-03-02) 2 March 1992 (age 27) 35 3   Al-Gharafa
5 2DF Tarek Salman (1997-12-05) 5 December 1997 (age 21) 25 0   Al Sadd SC
15 2DF Bassam Al-Rawi (1997-12-16)16 December 1997 (aged 21) 24 2   Al-Duhail
13 2DF Musab Kheder (1993-01-01)1 January 1993 (aged 26) 10 0   Al-Arabi SC (Qatar)

12 3MF Karim Boudiaf (1990-09-16)16 September 1990 (aged 28) 72 4   Al-Duhail
6 3MF Abdulaziz Hatem (1990-10-28) 28 October 1990 (age 28) 61 3   Al Rayyan SC
23 3MF Assim Madibo (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 (age 22) 26 0   Al-Duhail SC
14 3MF Salem Al-Hajri (1996-04-10)10 April 1996 (aged 22) 11 0   Al Sadd SC
8 3MF Ahmed Fatehi (1993-01-25)25 January 1993 (aged 25) 10 0   Al-Arabi
9 3MF Abdullah Al-Ahrak (1997-05-10) 10 May 1997 (age 22) 5 0   Al Ahli SC (Doha)

10 4FW Hassan Al-Haydos (captain) (1990-12-11)11 December 1990 (aged 28) 125 27   Al-Sadd
11 4FW Akram Afif (1996-11-18) 18 November 1996 (age 22) 51 12   Al-Sadd
25 4FW Ismaeel Mohammad (1990-04-05) 5 April 1990 (age 29) 48 4   Al-Duhail SC
19 4FW Almoez Ali (1996-08-19)19 August 1996 (aged 22) 45 23   Al-Duhail
7 4FW Ahmed Alaaeldin (1993-01-31)31 January 1993 (aged 25) 26 1   Al-Gharafa
17 4FW Yusuf Abdurisag (1999-08-06) 6 August 1999 (age 20) 2 0   Al-Arabi SC (Qatar)
18 4FW Hashim Ali (2000-08-17) 17 August 2000 (age 19) 0 0   Al Sadd SC

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have been called up for the Qatar squad within the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Jassim Al Hail (1992-01-29) 29 January 1992 (age 27) 0 0   Qatar SC v.   Iceland, 14 November 2018
GK Meshaal Barsham (1998-02-14) 14 February 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Al Sadd v.   Palestine, 11 September 2018

DF Abdulkarim Al-Ali (1991-03-25)25 March 1991 (aged 27) 19 1   Al-Sailiya 2019 AFC Asian Cup
DF Sultan Al-Brake (1997-04-07) 7 April 1997 (age 22) 3 0   Al-Duhail v.   Iceland, 14 November 2018
DF Hamad Al-Obeidi (1991-04-21) 21 April 1991 (age 28) 6 0   Al-Sailiya v.   Palestine, 11 September 2018

MF Abdelrahman Moustafa (1997-04-05)5 April 1997 (aged 21) 1 0   Al-Ahli 2019 AFC Asian Cup
MF Khaled Mohammed (2000-06-07)7 June 2000 (aged 18) 0 0   Qatar SC 2019 AFC Asian Cup
MF Ali Awadh Boujalouf (1995-04-27) 27 April 1995 (age 24) 3 0   Al-Duhail v.   Iceland, 14 November 2018
MF Mohammed Alaaeldin (1994-01-24) 24 January 1994 (age 25) 3 0   Al-Rayyan v.   Palestine, 11 September 2018
MF Hashim Ali Abdullatif (1989-01-13) 13 January 1989 (age 30) 0 0   Al-Duhail v.   Palestine, 11 September 2018

Notes:

  • SUS Player suspended
  • RC Player suspended for yellow or red card accumulation.
  • INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury
  • RET Retired from the national team
  • WD Player withdrew from the squad for non-injury related reasons

Current coaching staffEdit

 
Coach Félix Sánchez with his coaching staff in January 2019

Last update: January 2019.[43]

Technical staff
Head coach   Félix Sánchez
Assistant coach   Sergio Alegre
Goalkeeping coach   Julius Büscher
Official   David Rodriguez
Fitness coach   Alberto Mendez-Villanueva
Fitness coach   Carlos Domenech Monforte
Medical staff
Physiotherapist   Przemyslaw Karol Tokarek
Physiotherapist   Ahmad Al Sharairi
Doctor   John McGuinness
Administrative staff
Administrator   Mohamed Salem Al Etawi
Media co-ordinator   Ali Hassan Al-Salat

CoachesEdit

 
Bruno Metsu, former manager of Qatar.

HonoursEdit

Winners (1): 2019
Winners (3): 1992, 2004, 2014
Winners (1): 2014
Winners (1): 2006

MinorEdit

  • International Friendship Championship:
Winners (1): 2018

RecordsEdit

As of 5 September 2019

Kit providersEdit

ReferencesEdit

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