Doha, 28 June 2021 - The build-up to the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021™ was in the spotlight recently, as Doha played host to the tournament’s qualification matches.
Two stadiums staged six single-match play-offs: Qatar 2022 venue Khalifa International Stadium and Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.
Helping support the event were 600 volunteers from the FIFA Volunteer Programme. Comprising 34 different nationalities, the volunteers supported a range of functions, including spectator services, guest operations, media, protocol, workforce and others. More than 200 people were volunteering for the first time.
Volunteer Rawya Ahmed, who supervised the team leaders in the spectator services function, said: “In terms of organisation, it’s been excellent. On the opening day, we were working very hard and overall, it’s been a very enjoyable experience. Even though I have my regular job, it’s actually a pleasure to come and volunteer. You can’t really describe the energy, the feeling; there was a buzz about the whole event.”
Ahmed continued: “The number of shifts was limited this time, so a lot of the volunteers wished they could have attended more often. They’re also really excited about the Arab Cup because it will be the closest tournament to the actual World Cup. When you have several countries coming to take part in a major event, it’s a big thing for local volunteers, especially as they are all Arabic-speaking countries – people are especially excited about that.”
Ahead of the qualifiers, volunteers received online training, along with venue training in order to prepare them for their roles. Each volunteer worked at least two eight-hour shifts.
Faisal Al Ibrahim, who worked alongside Ahmed, compared the experience to his time volunteering at previous SC events, such as the Al Janoub Stadium inauguration in May 2019.
“Even though it was a short and relatively small event, I really enjoyed it,” said Al Ibrahim. “It was a new experience and I was proud to contribute. I enjoyed engaging with the volunteers and motivating them to do their best. It’s great to give back to the community.”
Nasser Al Mogaiseeb, the SC’s Volunteer Strategy Manager, said: “The past week was an important step for our programme, as we continue preparations for the FIFA Arab Cup, which will take place later this year and provide us with a vital opportunity to test all our plans for Qatar 2022. I would like to thank everyone for their efforts this past week – they all performed brilliantly.”