Qatar’s strong and continued commitment to hosting a “memorable” World Cup in 2022 has been much appreciated by Gianni Infantino, the FIFA President. The country has already begun its two-year countdown to the quadrennial football showpiece.
This marks another milestone in Qatar’s progress as a nation, in-line with the universal values of peace, brotherhood and human dignity, as mentioned in the Charter of the United Nations, and is also in-line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.
When the host country, and yet-to-be-identified team meet up at the Al Bayt Stadium to kick-start the tournament, it is expected to be a historic moment in the Arab World.
Ever-since Qatar won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup on 2nd December 2010, Qatar has had to deal with several direct attacks and innuendos about its so-called “lack of sporting history and culture”. The western media had even bordered on racism, but, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, led by Secretary General HE Hassan al-Thawadi, adopted a pro-active policy of engagement and co—operation, which eventually won over the critics.
Infantino’s message reflected this, as he personally thanked HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for his leadership and dedication to the cause.
“2020 has surely been a challenging year for the entire world, and football was no exception. Despite the difficulties, steady progress was made in the last few months, showing yet again Qatar’s strong and continued commitment – under the leadership of HH the Amir, whom I personally thank – to hosting an unforgettable FIFA World Cup in two years’ time which will no doubt build a legacy beyond 2022,” Infantino said.
Highlighting the reforms that Qatar has done over the years to be in tune with recent times, Infantino said that apart from the important labour reforms announced by the government, there has been progress on stadium construction, along with implementation of strict measures to protect workers’ health.
The Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, HE Hassan al-Thawadi said “During my short visit to Doha a few weeks ago, I witnessed first-hand how well preparations have advanced, and I am looking forward with confidence to Qatar 2022, for the transformative impact it is already having on the country and the region, for the unique experience it will provide fans from all over the world and, of course, for witnessing the best World Cup ever.”
Al-Thawadi further said “Both tournament and national infrastructure projects are well advanced, with everything on track to be completed well ahead of the big kick-off. Our legacy projects, meanwhile, are already having an impact on people’s lives in areas such as workers’ rights, education and entrepreneurship.”
While the pandemic has delayed the qualifying process for the World Cup, there has been no further disruptions to the schedule, and the draw for the 32 participating teams in the event will be held in April 2022.