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Posted On: 13 February 2020 10:04 am
Updated On: 13 February 2020 10:05 am

Al Thawadi: Qatar gearing up for FIFA Club World Cup 2020, launch of three more stadiums

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The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is a vehicle to achieving the nation's goals, said HE Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) Hassan Al Thawadi, during his appearance at Qatar Foundation's (QF) Education City Speaker Series (ECSS).

Speaking at Qatar National Library on the eve of National Sports Day 2020, Al Thawadi discussed the country's preparations for the world's most anticipated sporting event and how it is creating a legacy long before the tournament kicks off on 21 November 2022.

"It is important to note that this tournament is a vehicle to achieving an overall goal, which is Qatar National Vision 2030," said Al Thawadi. "2022 will be a milestone but it's not the end of the story for Qatar."

Al Thawadi added: "We worked closely with our stakeholders to ensure that the country's development plans complement the requirements of the World Cup. As such, every penny that goes into the tournament is actually a penny spent on the development of the nation beyond 2022."

"The World Cup is a North Star to a certain extent in achieving our country's goals," added Al Thawadi. "We're trying to use the World Cup as an opportunity using it as fuel for people to change their lives.

"We want to develop the way the sporting industry can contribute to the GDP of the country. We want to create opportunities for people of the region. Programs like Challenge 22 or Josoor Institute aim to achieve that to develop human potential and boost the sporting and events industries."

More than nine years after winning the rights to host the World Cup, Qatar is already witnessing the benefits of the tournament almost three years before the big kick-off.

"The metro is one of the biggest examples of our success so far," said Al Thawadi. "Today, the metro system is up and running and will be fully operational by the end of this year. In addition, the main expressways for the World Cup will be ready soon. But even after the tournament, the significant development and construction will continue."

When discussing current progress, Al Thawadi said three stadiums are due to be launched this year, while Qatar is also gearing up to host the FIFA Club World Cup again after successfully hosting the tournament for the first time in December 2019.

"Two stadiums have been inaugurated Khalifa International Stadium and Al Janoub Stadium. Three more stadiums will become operational by the end of this year: Al Rayyan Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium and, of course, Education City Stadium which is close to everybody's hearts here at QF."

Al Thawadi continued: "We will also be hosting the FIFA Club World Cup again which is another significant milestone for us. Last year's event was a great success and we were able to test our readiness for 2022. It was a golden opportunity to run through our concepts and put our operational plans to the test."

Al Thawadi went on to say innovation would lie at the heart of Qatar 2022 with support from local stakeholders such as QF.

"Every tournament has to have a unique innovative element to make it close to people's hearts. For us, innovation is at the core of our preparations. We want to provide the most advanced, enhanced and engaging fan experience for people from Qatar and all over the world. And we continue to work closely with Qatar Foundation on various elements in this regard."

Al Thawadi ended his appearance by outlining the massive legacy benefits of the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and the Arab world.

"We planned for legacy from day one," said Al Thawadi "A lot of host nations, unfortunately, look at legacy as an element that comes after the tournament. From the beginning, we looked at the Qatar National Vision 2030 as a guiding post. We understood the goals required and how the World Cup can help to achieve them."

With a focus on highlighting the big ideas shaping our world today, QF's ECSS provides a platform for Qatar's community to have captivating conversations with passionate thought leaders and changemakers from all over the world. Launched in 2018, ECSS has evolved into a well-known platform offering Qatar's community the opportunity to hear from and engage with experts and thought leaders on relevant global topics in the spirit of open dialogue and the exchange of perspectives. In this way, the ECSS reflects how QF is committed to providing platforms for discourse, interaction and the sharing of knowledge. ECSS hosts speakers from all around the world and aspires to continue providing this platform for open-dialogue to the community in Qatar.

Source: Qatar News Agency/Image Source: Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy