Saboog, Tmbki, Freha, Zkriti and Traeneh unveiled as AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 mascots

Saboog, Tmbki, Freha, Zkriti and Traeneh unveiled as AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 mascots

QLNews
By QLNews

Those who were in Qatar in 2011 — when the country hosted the AFC Asian Cup for the second time in its history — would remember the family of five desert rodents who were the face of the continental tournament.

Those five desert rodents — Saboog, Tmbki, Freha, Zkriti and Traeneh — will once again be the face of Asia’s most prestigious football tournament when it kicks off on January 12, 2024.

After making their debut twelve years ago, the familiar characters were once again presented as mascots for the Asian Cup Qatar 2023 at a special ceremony in Doha on Friday.

Since first making an appearance 2011, the mascots have grown up, matured, and are now ready for a new edition of the AFC Asian Cup.

This time around, the characters have been brought to life through an anime-inspired animation produced by Katara Studios. In the build-up to the event and throughout the tournament, audiences will be treated to an animated work that invokes the nostalgia of iconic cartoons of the past.

While Fahad Al Kuwari directed the animation, the song was performed by Qatari artist Dana Al Meer and the legendary Tarek Al Arabi Tourgane.

The first of the five mascots is Saboog — the blue-colored son of the family. His name is derived from the commonly used word for jerboa in Qatar.

Second is Freha, the pink-colored eldest daughter of the family, named after an area with the same name in Qatar’s north.

Third is Tmbiki, a yellow-colored younger son named after the Timbic region in the country’s east.

The parents are Zikriti and Traeneh, a green-colored father and a purple-colored mother, respectively. They are named after Zikrit in Qatar’s west and Tranaa in the country’s north.

Hassan Al Kuwari, Marketing and Communications Executive Director of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 Local Organizing Committee (LOC), said the return of the mascots was a testament to Qatar’s long legacy of excellence in hosting mega sporting events.

“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,” said Al Kuwari.

“Qatar’s natural environment inspires the five characters and presents us with yet another wonderful opportunity to showcase our culture and heritage to football fans worldwide,” he said.

The characters are the creation of Qatari artist Ahmed Al Maadheed. When working on the characters, Al Maadheed wanted to attribute a different characteristic to each family member, much like the different roles football players take on during a match.

The artist also wanted to create a set of characters that resemble a traditional household in Qatar while paying tribute to all four corners of the country.

“From the beginning, we wanted to do something that inspired families and young people to be a part of the Asian Cup. We wanted to 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,” said AlMaadheed.

“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,” he added.

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