Qatar’s ruler confirmed that preparations for the 2022 World Cup are on track and the pandemic will not stop the much-anticipated tournament.
Qatar’s preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are expected to be complete in the “coming months”, Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said on Friday, noting the global sporting event will go ahead as planned despite the pandemic challenges.
“We, in Qatar, are ready for this occasion,” Sheikh Tamim stated during a video speech at the SPIEF economic conference in St Petersburg.
“The pandemic affected everyone, not just Qatar. True, there was a delay but it was a very limited delay in some World Cup preparations which will all be complete in the coming months.”
Qatar will host the 2021 FIFA World Cup in November, which is expected to be a prelude for FIFA’s flagship event the following year, he said.
Earlier this year, Qatar’s foreign minister confirmed authorities are in discussions with vaccination providers to ensure that all fans attending the 2022 World Cup are protected against the virus.
The Gulf state is investing hundreds of billions of dollars on infrastructure construction ahead of the historic sports event, with the aim to provide comfort and a unique experience for attending fans.
Qatar 2022 will mark the first ever FIFA World Cup in the Middle East.
The increasing investment in sports in the Middle East, especially in the Gulf region, comes as governments seek to diversify economies through focusing on alternatives to oil.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states have invested over $65 billion on sports development.