Zurich, 20 November 2023 - Swiss President of the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), Gianni Infantino, praised Qatar and its organization of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 finals on this day last year, describing it as the best edition in the history of the game.
Infantino, in previous statements regarding the World Cup, stated that Qatar hosted the best edition of the FIFA World Cup in the history of the game. He emphasized that Qatar dedicated all its capabilities to the success of the project, utilizing the best organizational means, allowing the world to witness a unique event in every detail.
FIFA President expressed that Qatar's success in hosting the event was never in doubt for him. He was confident that Qatar would deliver an exceptional edition in organization due to the significant seriousness, attention, meticulous follow-up, and commitment to meeting all hosting requirements according to internationally recognized standards. As the head of the international federation, he closely monitored every step Qatar took towards completing the arrangements for the tournament on its soil until the moment of the tournament's opening at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
Infantino revealed that several factors contributed to his confidence in Qatar's ability to host the event. Among these factors was the excellence in applying organizational standards and going beyond what was required, evident in the construction of the stadiums hosting the event. He highlighted the accessibility for the audience, available transportation to the stadiums, and the establishment of a secure network that considers all safety requirements.
FIFA President affirmed that Qatar achieved a level of success in organizing the World Cup that no other country had reached before. This success was evident in providing the opportunity for the audience to watch more than one match in a single day. He pointed out that this was not available to any fan before, as it was challenging for the audience to follow more than one match in previous World Cup editions due to the considerable distances between the stadiums. This was especially true in the last ten editions held in Spain 1982, Mexico 1986, Italy 1990, USA 1994, France 1998, Korea/Japan 2002, Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014, and Russia 2018. However, Qatar minimized the distances for the audience by making it easy to access the stadiums.
He added that as someone responsible for the development of football, it was imperative for him to implement his plan to expand its base of practice and spread its culture globally, according to the working strategy. He expressed great satisfaction with achieving the goals of the international federation through various tournaments, increasing the number of tournaments, and developing the game to the fullest extent by leveraging the technical aspect and employing technology to make the game clearer. Qatar World Cup played a significant role in this regard, as the precise offside technology was tested, proving more beneficial for teams and players in many matches.
He clarified that mobile applications were actively serving football during the World Cup, benefiting both the media and the vast audience that followed the tournament through various social media platforms from around the world.
Infantino described Qatar edition as the best in history, with 32 distinguished teams participating in the finals. Argentine national team secured victory against France in a goal-packed final, winning in a penalty shootout by four kicks to two after the original and extra time ended in a 3-3 draw.
FIFA President emphasized the need to continue working towards the development of football and leveraging the qualitative leap introduced by Qatar in organizing the 2022 edition.
He urged the delivery of another exceptional edition in 2026, hosted by the United States, Canada, and Mexico, with an expanded 48-team format. He considered the Qatar edition the best and believed it would not be repeated, especially with the increase in the number of participating teams to 48 in 2026.
Infantino considered the previous edition as a catalyst for the upcoming one, building on the achievements of football in Qatar and looking forward to broader horizons in the next edition. He affirmed, as the President of the international federation, that any successful endeavor pushes forward for the development of the game.