Football

A World Cup for the Arab world

Nasser Al-Khater.

Nasser Al-Khater.  

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Al-Khater says Qatar is ready for the marquee event

The successful hosting of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, where Liverpool added  the world crown to its European title, has given ample evidence of Qatar’s readiness to host West Asia’s first World Cup in 2022.

“We’re very happy with the Club World Cup. It gave us an opportunity to test all our operational readiness, to test some of the facilities like the Khalifa International Stadium, which will host matches till the quarterfinals,” CEO of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Nasser Al-Khater told Sportstar. “It gave us an opportunity to work together as a team with the local organising committee and our stakeholders from the security side, transportation side, and different ministerial agencies. Working together in a large event helps you to bring the teams together, you can see some of the challenges that come up. And you also see the positives from the preparations that have been going on over the years to get us ready for the World Cup.”

Calling it the World Cup for the Arab world, Al-Khater said: “When South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010, it was a victory for the whole continent of Africa. We’ve always said that this World Cup is a World Cup for the Arab world. Qatar does not mix politics with sports and we believe many citizens from (other West Asian) countries will be part of this World Cup.”

The Indian diaspora, almost 25 percent of Qatar’s population, has also been heavily involved with the preparation for the World Cup. “We have a huge Indian community here in Qatar, they played an active role in building the society, the fabric of the society. Large number of members of the local Organising Committee are from India, many people on the spectator services side are from India. A lot of our volunteers are from India,” Al-Khater said. “The bond between India and Qatar will reflect strongly in the tournament.”

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 1:29:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/a-world-cup-for-the-arab-world/article30515698.ece

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