All eyes on Qatar as 10 days countdown to historic World Cup begins

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2022-11-10 | Since 4 Week

10 days countdown to historic World Cup begins

Doha, 10 November 2022 - It all started on a night in late December back in 2006 when the Father Amir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – the then Amir of Qatar – expressed his interest in hosting the FIFA World Cup in the Gulf State. The guests present at the Al Wajba Palace were left “surprised” but that dinner reception kicked off the historic journey.

It was then when Qatar embarked on a mission to bring the FIFA World Cup for the first time to the Middle East and the Arab world; and four years later the country succeeded in winning the right to host the 2022 edition, defeating bids from the USA, South Korea, Japan and Australia.

“The government’s support played a major role in our successful bid to host the World Cup,” CEO of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Nasser Al Khater told AlKass as he recalled Qatar’s successful bid.

Al Khater said Qatar, representing the entire Arab world was bidding for the first-ever FIFA World Cup in the region, which he believed gave them the edge over bids from other countries.

After winning the bid, Qatar established the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) in 2011, with the body tasked with the delivery of the required infrastructure and host country planning and operations.

Qatar completed the mega infrastructure that includes eight state-of-the-art stadiums and Doha Metro with an unprecedented pace, ensuring the tournament and its preparations contribute to the country's sustainable development.

Qatar’s readiness to host the biggest football spectacle is stunning and unprecedented. The rapid development organisers ensured is unbelievable. It was all about delivering on a promise of hosting the best-ever World Cup edition, which the country made at the time of making the bid.

“We have always said that Qatar will deliver the best-ever edition of the FIFA World Cup. And as you look around the country today, at the state-of-the-art stadiums, the training pitches, the metro, the wider infrastructure, everything is ready and everyone is welcome,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Qatar ready to stage unique World Cup

As the final 10-day countdown to the historic World Cup begins, all eyes are on Qatar, which is ready for its big moment when Al Annabi take on Ecuador in the opening match on November 20 at the 60,000-seater Al Bayt Stadium.

The 32 strongest teams of the world will be eyeing glory, with France defending their title and hot favourites Brazil seeking a record-extending sixth World Cup trophy.

“The world is excited. Qatar is ready. The stage is set. Together, we will deliver the best World Cup ever on and off the field,” said the FIFA President.

It is the first time ever that the World Cup is taking place in winter. Qatar 2022 is also the most compact version of the tournament in modern history as the longest distance between World Cup stadiums in Qatar is just 75 kilometres.

The mid-season schedule and the compact nature of Qatar 2022 are the factors that are expected to help players produce better football, making the Qatar tournament extraordinarily competitive.

"I was lucky enough to play in three World Cups and I know that I went into each one of those World Cups playing probably 50 to 60 games in the season,” former England captain David Beckham told Al Jazeera, recently.

“Players are coming into this World Cup after playing 25 games. So they will be arriving fresh and excited. Their energy is going to be at the top level, so I think what you’re going to see on the pitch is probably like no other World Cup.”

“It’s the dream for players. In previous World Cups we’ve had to travel and it’s not easy to recover after games. I would have loved to have played at this World Cup,” Beckham added.

The organisers have said almost all of the 3 million tickets made available for the 64 matches have been sold as Qatar waits to welcome an estimated 1.2 million fans from across the globe.

The host country has completed all arrangements in terms of security protocols, accommodation, transport and medical guidance.

More than 90 entertainment activities across the country on the sidelines of the World Cup will make the country an unrivalled entertainment destination during the global fiesta.

“Qatar is ready to host a global celebration of the beautiful game. We look forward to welcoming fans and players from across the world as they sample our welcoming hospitality, vast array of entertainment options and, of course, top-class international football,” said Al Khater.


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