Wednesday , February 21 2024

Official mascots unveiled for 2023 AFC Asian Cup – Qatar!

A familiar quintet of charming and adorable jerboas were announced as the official mascots of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 today at a special launch ceremony.

The family of five desert rodents are no strangers to the AFC Asian Cup, as they had made their debut when Qatar last hosted the flagship competition in 2011. Now, Saboog, Tmbki, Freha, Zkriti and Traeneh are back to take the spotlight in the 18th edition of the showpiece.

The cute mascots were unveiled to the public at the Barahat Msheireb, an open square in downtown Doha, with 42 days to go until the opening kick-off on January 12, 2024 at the Lusail Stadium between hosts Qatar and Lebanon.

The cast is led by Saboog, the blue-coloured son of the family whose name is derived from the commonly used term in Qatar to refer to the jerboa, or desert rodents. He is followed by the pink-coloured Freha, the eldest daughter of the family who is named after the Freha area in the north of Qatar. Third is Tmbki, the yellow-coloured younger son named after the Timbic region in Qatar’s east. The parents are Zkriti and Traeneh, the green-coloured father and purple-coloured mother respectively; the pair are named after Zikrit in Qatar’s west and Tranaa, to Qatar’s north.

The official mascots are the brainchild of Qatari artist Ahmed Al Maadheed, who wanted to attribute different characteristics to each mascot, akin to the different roles that players take on during a football match. At the same time, he wanted to create a set of characters that resemble a traditional household in Qatar that also pays tribute to all four corners of the country.

“From the very beginning, we wanted to do something that inspired families and young people to be a part of the Asian Cup,” Al Maadheed said. “We wanted to do dig deep into our rich ecological heritage and find an animal that could represent the best of what happens on the pitch and also in our daily lives, and that was the jerboa.

“We decided to present a family of jerboas, each with its own distinctive personality, as a way of acknowledging the importance of teamwork in football, but also acknowledging the importance of family life to societies in Qatar.”

The characters have been brought to life for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 through an anime-inspired animation produced by Katara Studios. From now until the conclusion of the tournament on February 10, 2024, audiences will be treated to an animated work that invokes the nostalgia of iconic cartoons of the past. The animation was directed by Fahad Al Kuwari, with the song performed by Qatari artist Dana Al Meer and the legendary Tarek Al Arabi Tourgane.

Hassan Al Kuwari, Marketing and Communications Executive Director of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Local Organising Committee (LOC), added: “The mascots of the 2023 Asian Cup invoke wonderful memories from 2011, but also embody the excitement and energy of what will certainly be an amazing competition. The five characters are inspired by Qatar’s natural environment and present us with yet another wonderful opportunity to showcase our culture and heritage to football fans from around the world.”

The official mascot launch follows the reveal of the official slogan, Hayya Asia, in October as the countdown continues towards the grandest ever AFC Asian Cup.

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