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Posted On: 30 November 2022 12:44 am

"It is safe for everyone to be in Qatar"- Hassan Al-Thawadi addresses World Cup criticisms in interview with Piers Morgan

Tracy Quirino
Tracy Quirino
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Hassan al thawadi piers morgan

On 29 November, Piers Morgan, British broadcaster and journalist, released an interview he had made with the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Secretary-General, Hassan Al-Thawadi. In Piers Morgan's exclusive interview, Hassan Al-Thawadi addressed criticisms that many Western media have made towards Qatar and its hosting of the FIFA World Cup.

Opening the video, Piers Morgan's "Piers Morgan Uncensored" showed a monologue from the British broadcaster in which he expressed his own opinion on the current issues raised against Qatar, stating that "the global scrutiny of the World Cup has at least led to reforms in labour laws here (Qatar). That will be an important legacy."

Moving toward the interview, Hassan Al-Thawadi was first asked about his opinions about Qatar hosting the World Cup and how he thought it was going. To this question, Hassan Al-Thawadi says,

"We are immensely proud of the World Cup. As you know and everything has been unfolded since the 20th of November. It's a moment of great pride if you look at what’s happening on the streets; people from all over the world coming in, celebrating. The story’s unfolding in the pitch, the stadium, from a footballing perspective, phenomenal."

Hassan Al-Thawadi also reacted to the stunning win of Saudi Arabia over Argentina and Morocco's win against Belgium during its matches on 22 November 2022 and 27 November 2022, respectively.

"This is the first world cup in the Arab world, this is the first world cup in the Middle east, in the Islamic world. You see it not only in terms of the teams participating, but you see it in the stadiums. I was seeing some of the pundit show where you have the fans, and it's predominantly red Moroccan supporters.

And it's not only Moroccans flying here, it's the supporters of the Moroccan national team from the Arab population: living in Qatar, visiting Qatar; Saudi supporters were supporting Morocco, Moroccan supporters were supporting Saudi and Tunisia, and so on. For our part of the world, for our region, I have to say, as Qataris, as Arabs, we are extremely proud of this moment."

In addressing the criticisms, Hassan Al-Thawadi says that they have been accepting of the criticisms made towards Qatar and the World Cup. He states that they have invited many of their critics, whether media outlets or individuals, to engage in a discussion for them to set out the facts. However, not many were receptive to their efforts.

Hassan Al-Thawadi says nevertheless,

"We've always said one thing: the most important element is our response is always gonna be by actions as opposed by words."

Hassan Al-Thawadi also talks about the labour reforms made in Qatar throughout the years, stating that the World Cup has served as an accelerant or catalyst to improve the legislation and enforcement of certain initiatives in the country.

"I think overall the need for labor reform in itself dictates that, yes, improvements have to happen. And and just so we're clear, this was something that was recognized before we bid. The improvements that have happened isn't because of the World Cup. These improvements that we knew we had to do. Because of our own values, improvements that have to happen, whether it's in terms of health and safety standards, whether it's in terms of improving the accommodations as standards, whether it's in terms of dismantling the kafala system."

Hassan Al-Thawadi further states that the efforts made in the World Cup have allowed many critics to recognize Qatar as a regional benchmark.

In the interview, Hassan Al-Thawadi also noted Qatar has worked hard to create a welcoming environment for people all over the world. He says,

"We won't see eye to eye, but we can still have mutual respect for each other and still find a way of moving forward, celebrating together."

Ending the interview on a light note, Piers Morgan asks Hassan Al-Thawadi who he thinks would win the World Cup, to which he replies, "You know, I'll say France." Toward the end, Hassan Al-Thawadi says he hopes the England team will win as it would be great to have "English football history connected to Qatar".

Watch the full interview below!

Source and cover image credit: Piers Morgan Uncensored