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Saturday, November 28, 2020

FIFA Club World Cup will be ‘exceptional’, Qatar says

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Qatar promises to make the FIFA Club World Cup a tournament to remember.

The FIFA Club World Cup will be an “exceptional experience”, the Supreme Committee’s Secretary-General Hassan Al Thawadi said, noting Qatar will strive to welcome as many fans as possible.

“Hosting the FIFA Club World Cup for a second time represents another vital learning opportunity for our country as we edge ever nearer to hosting the FIFA World Cup,” said al-Thawadi.

“We will be working closely with our stakeholders to provide an exceptional experience for fans, players and officials, while fine-tuning our plans for 2022,” he added. 

Read also: Qatar 2022 to serve as ‘global celebration’ post-Covid: SC chief

The FIFA Club World Cup 2020 will take place in Qatar from 1-11 February next year, and will be the second time it is hosted in the country,

“We will begin preparing to host this event immediately as we look to build on the tremendous success of last year’s tournament,” said Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed Al Thani, President of Qatar Football Association.

Last year’s 2019 championship was regarded as a huge success and saw Liverpool take the trophy.

“It was a pleasure to welcome thousands of fans from across the world in 2019. Hosting the event for a second time will undoubtedly confirm our readiness for the FIFA World Cup,” Al Thani added.

“I wish all the participating teams the best of luck and look forward to witnessing top-level football during the tournament.”

Al-Thawadi said that a coordinated and coherent approach to public health, both physical and mental, is essential in creating a safe and reliable future. Though it is essential now, it was also a necessity before the spread of the virus. 

“Necessity is now an imperative,” he said.

He also outlined and ensured that the SC has taken several steps to protect the health and safety of its staff, including multilingual awareness sessions and an isolation facility. 

Read also: Seven Qatari referees to officiate Asian Champions League matches

“The proactive strategy we employed enabled us to manage the spread of Covid-19 on our projects for up to six weeks until the first case was reported,” he added.

“Under the guidance and approval of the local health authorities, we introduced our own 1,000-bed capacity isolation facility to ensure the monitoring and maintenance of strict quarantine protocol to minimise the spread of infection among the rest of the workforce.”

Sports, he added, should be considered a critical vehicle for advocating for good mental and physical health globally.

“Sport is playing an important role in our journey toward a return to normalcy” he said, as societies strive to emerge from lockdowns. 

Speaking at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2020, al-Thawadi also said Qatar is aware of the global socioeconomic effects of the pandemic and is striving to offer an affordable and safe World Cup for as many visitors as possible.

“We certainly hope that by November 2022 we are able to play host to a global celebration in a post-Covid world. We sincerely hope that we’re able to welcome as many visitors as possible to our country – and to our region – many of whom will be visiting for the first time and experiencing their first taste of the Middle East and Arab world,” he said.

Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) along with authorities placed strict measures in curbing the spread of the coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak.

Although the country did have the highest infections rate per capita, it has maintained the world’s lowest mortality rate.

More than one million people have been tested for the potentially lethal virus in Qatar since the global pandemic struck the Gulf state.


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