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At the very same time as Syria's football "miracle" unfolded this week, two rather sorrier World Cup tales were played out.In a virtually empty, expensively refurbished 2022 World Cup venue, Khalifa International, two of football's most ambitious nations, Qatar and China, confirmed their exits from the 2018 tournament to almost global indifference.Instead Qatar becomes the first country since Italy in 1934 to host the World Cup without ever before playing in a finals.Latterly, it will also be savored by some regionally as Qatar contends with the ongoing political crisis with its Gulf neighbors.Embarrassing it may be, but analysts contend that failing to qualify is not fatal for the 2022 World Cup, on which Qatar is spending $500 million a week.Whether Sanchez will be at the tournament, as his appointment covered only the remaining World Cup fixtures, is unclear.And without a World Cup fixture now for five years, Qatar are desperate for meaningful matches.
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