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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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

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The World Cup 2022 will be a much needed global celebration in a post-COVID world.

The Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Hassan al-Thawadi said he is optimistic that Qatar will be able to deliver an unforgettable global celebration that will leave a lasting legacy. 

Speaking at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2020, al-Thawadi said that 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.

‘Exceptional’ Club World Cup

His comments about the World Cup came as Qatar confirmed it would once again be hosting the FIFA Club World Cup 2020 in February 2021 due to delays caused by the pandemic. 

“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,” said al-Thawadi.

Read also: FIFA Club World Cup to be held in Qatar in February

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. 

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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