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Taha on a double mission with Lebanon


Beirut: Head coach Jamal Taha has a double mission in the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 – to take Lebanon into the third round as well as ingest young players into the squad. 

“Our mission is not easy at all but our target is to revitalise the national team.

“The basic idea is to change the structure of the team and reduce the average age and make it 24 years old in order to build a special team for the future,” said Taha.

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Taha said he will be giving young players a chance at international action to build their confidence but asserted the target is still to do well in the Asian Qualifiers.

Lebanon are third in a tight Group H, level on eight points with Korea Republic and DPR Korea. Turkmenistan lead the standings on nine points.

“We will be calling up 25 players who were born between 1995 and 1998 on Monday,” explained the former Al Ansar midfielder. “We want to give confidence to these players.

“It will be very hard to prepare the team physically, especially with the stoppage of football in Lebanon for an entire season due to economic difficulties and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The former coach of Shabab Al Sahel, Al Ansar and Tadamon Sour was, however, hopeful of Lebanon’s Asian Qualifiers chances.

“There is nothing impossible in football,” said Taha. “Our next match against Turkmenistan will be very important and we will be fighting in order to get the three points.

“We will try our best to adapt with the current situation and I will try to improve the level of the national team.”

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