Doha, 11 May 2023 - CEO of the Local Organizing Committee for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Jassim Al Jassim affirmed that the State of Qatar's preparations to host the continental championship are built on the legacy of the 2022 World Cup, with advanced infrastructure at the level of stadiums, transportation network and luxury hotels, in addition to the great human resource after the local organizers acquired great experiences.
In an expanded session with representatives of the international, continental and local media held today, in the presence of Director of Marketing and Communications at the Local Committee for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Hassan Rabia Al Kuwari, he presented the latest preparations to host the tournament which will be held in Qatar for the third time from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10, 2024.
Al Jassim said Qatar is a hub for international sports, not just for Asian sports. When Qatar is the host country for a tournament, the ceiling of expectations will naturally be high, especially after the impressive successes achieved by organizing a historic version of the last World Cup 2022, he said, adding that the 2023 Asian Cup will not be the last in the series of major tournaments that will be held in Doha in light of the great confidence that the country has gained from all international, continental and regional sports entities, which enhances its permanent presence to host events in the short and long term as well.
He continued by saying that the organization of the Asian Cup will be supervised by the same team that contributed to organizing the World Cup, with the continental championship being held in six out of the eight stadiums that hosted the World Cup, which is happening for the first time in history. With the exception of Lusail Stadium and Stadium 974, the World Cup stadiums will host the continental football matches, which adds great momentum to it, guarantees its success, and provides the best environment for players to compete in high-level competitions, he noted.
Al Jassim said it is untrue that the AFC requested that Lusail Stadium be among the 2023 AFC Asian Cup stadiums. The Confederation delegated the Local Organizing Committee to select stadiums, given the great confidence in Qatar's world-class facilities, he said.
Regarding the mechanism for the fans to attend the 2023 Asian Cup competitions, the CEO of the Local Organizing Committee said that Hayya has become a working platform even after the end of the World Cup, as it is a legacy from the World Cup. Therefore, it will be present regarding granting entry permission to the State of Qatar, and there will be soon an announcement of all the details related to the mechanism and procedures for the fans to enter the country. Coordination is underway with all the competent authorities locally as well as with the AFC and the federations whose teams will participate in the tournament, he added.
He added that there will be activities dedicated to fans before and during the Asian Cup competitions, just as things were in the World Cup and the Arab Cup, and they will strive to ensure the best experience for the fans in order to enjoy attending the best version of the continental championship, especially since the date of the competitions coincides with a period of good weather in Qatar during the months of January and February.
Al Jassim confirmed that the local organizing committee, in coordination with the AFC, gave options for the teams regarding the residences of the delegations and training stadiums, indicating that communication has actually taken place with the federations that have begun to choose their places of residence and the stadiums on which the training will take place in light of the abundance of these high-quality venues. He pointed out that the administrative officials and technical staff of the teams participating in the tournament will visit those venues on the sidelines of the draw ceremony, which will be held tomorrow at the Opera House in the Katara Cultural Village. He concluded by saying that work is ongoing to ensure that the 18th edition of the Asian Cup goes perfectly, adding that the committee is betting that the qualification of 10 Arab teams will inspire Arab fans to attend.
For his part, Al Kuwari stressed that organizing the continental championship will be a new challenge for the State of Qatar to confirm its organizational capabilities, which it demonstrated during the hosting of the last World Cup finals, considering that the experiences it gained Qatari cadres will be the main pillar in making the next edition of the continental championship the best in history in all respects. He added that committee is in process of developing a plan that includes an integrated mechanism for the fans, and all procedures related to entry and obtaining tickets. He added that the the plan will include precise details from entry permission to access to stadiums and attendance at matches to ensure an ideal experience for everyone during the tournament, especially after Qatar has become an important tourist destination and an important after the World Cup. He noted that expectations are high for the tournament's organization following the World Cup, but that the committee was ready to meet the challenge.
Regarding the procedures related to media, Al Kuwari indicated that the committee will not be the one charged with providing accreditation to the media for covering the event. It will rather be done by the AFC. He stressed however that the committee will take into account facilitating the task of media professionals who do not have official accreditation from the AFC, just like during the World Cup, when a center was allocated to non-accredited journalists.
On the opening ceremony, he said that the focus will be on dazzling media and the fans through using the latest technologies.
He concluded his remarks by saying that volunteers will play an important role in this competition like they did in previous ones, stressing that the committee cannot provide the service it will without the efforts of volunteers.