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Posted On: 2 January 2020 10:48 am
Updated On: 3 March 2020 12:01 pm

2019 was milestone for Qatar in hosting 2022 World Cup: SC Secretary-General

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Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) Hassan Al Thawadi underlined that 2019 has been another year of substantial progress on the road to Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Al Janoub Stadium became the second tournament venue to be inaugurated when it hosted the Amir Cup final in May, while the remaining six stadiums edged closer to completion.

Qatar also successfully delivered two major tournaments the 24th Arabian Gulf Cup and the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup. Both events showcased the country's readiness as it gears up to host international football's showpiece event in less than three years.

Al Thawadi said:

"Arabian Gulf Cup and FIFA Club World Cup showed we are on the right track to delivering an outstanding World Cup in 2022. We learned a lot across every functional area, whether it be ticketing, security, communications, travel, accommodation, protocol, and others. Both events were invaluable and we expect the Club World Cup in 2020, plus the event we host in 2021, will be exactly the same. They are all vital learning experiences."
"Despite the successes, we know we still have a long way to go in order to deliver the best possible tournament for fans, players and officials in 2022. We are still learning and there remain plenty of challenges. However, we are proud of both tournaments and pleased with the feedback we have received so far. We will carefully assess the constructive criticism and apply the lessons learned in 2020 and beyond."

Al Thawadi added:

"FIFA Club World Cup was a key test and as we've been saying would be the case for many years, those fans were welcomed with open arms. We have always said that we want to showcase Qatari and Arab hospitality and that's exactly what we did during the Club World Cup. The fans discovered a very friendly country which was prepared to go the extra mile in order to deliver a memorable fan experience."
"We know, however, that there are areas where we can improve the fan experience. There are certain things we need to prioritize from a communications point of view, such as travel, security, and ticketing. We also need to ensure fans are familiar with cultural norms in Qatar and feel comfortable about visiting our country."

Al Thawadi praised the pivotal role played by Doha Metro, saying:

"One of our biggest challenges in 2022 will be getting groups of people from A to B. Shuttling fans, players and officials between their hotels, training sites, stadiums, and fan zones will require careful planning. Having the metro operational during the two recent tournaments was a huge advantage. It is very convenient for everyone. It is also the cheapest and quickest way of getting around Qatar. Huge credit must go to Qatar Rail for providing such an exceptional experience."
"One of our tasks now is to look carefully at the entire journey the fans take. Did they find it easy to get to a metro station? Did they take advantage of the free travel on match days? What about the journey on foot from the metro station to the stadium? Then once they arrived at the stadium, how quickly did they come through security and get to their seats? These are all questions we need to assess and review over the coming months."

Moreover, Al Thawadi said:

"The launch of Al Janoub Stadium was a huge moment for us as it was the first tournament venue to be built from scratch. Seeing the stadium full to capacity during the Amir Cup and looking absolutely splendid was a landmark achievement. These are the nights that showcase our journey towards 2022."
"In terms of 2020, four stadiums are in the final stages of delivery: Education City Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Rayyan Stadium and Al Thumama Stadium. The other two, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium and Lusail Stadium, are also nearing completion and will be delivered well in advance of the World Cup."

Source: QNA

Cover image credit: SC