Hassan al Thawadi: Qatar's most ardent critics have become our greatest allies

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Hassan Al Thawadi believes that the critics have now turned into admirers after watching the innovations Qatar brought for the World Cup 2022...

The 2022 World Cup, to be hosted by Qatar, will be the first time the middle-east region hosts football's showpiece event. The country, after winning the hosting rights in 2015, has been hard at work, building a world class infrastructure for the tournament.

They have already unveiled a refurbished Khalifa international stadium which was armed with innovative features like cooling technology and high quality playing surfaces etc.

Most recently the Al Janoub Stadium, situated in Al Wakrah City, was inaugurated and it became the second stadium in Qatar to be ready for the World Cup 2022.

While there was a lot of scepticism when Qatar won the bid to host the competition, the perceptions are slowly changing as the country look set for a successful tournament.

Hassan Al Thawadi, the Secretary-General of Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, felt that the initial scepticism towards among people world over has changed to wonder. “I think people are beginning to realize it. I think some people still remain entrenched in their opinions because they haven't come and seen Qatar," he told Goal.

“They haven't scratched the surface. I think people who have come, experienced where we're at, who have experienced not just the fantastic stadium but also the opening of the Emir Cup final in Al Janoub Stadium (have realised it). We tried to also apply World Cup standards when it came to operations, although it was just one match. And I am very proud to say that it was successful.”

Al Janoub Stadium Al Wakrah City 2022 World Cup Qatar

Hassan also agreed that Qatar still have a lot to learn and they are learning with every project they come across while preparing for the competition. He said, “Obviously, there is a lot to learn. But you see us learning as we go along, you see us delivering as we're coming along and it is not limited to the stadium and the operational experience that we're gaining day by day, but it is also the legacy.”

Hassan mentioned that with the way things have progressed, their biggest critics have turned into their admirers. “Anybody who has experienced this, recognizes and confirms that the decision (to give Qatar hosting rights) was the right decision. For us, the change will happen and it will happen when we host the rest of the world in 2022 but in the lead-up, I am very proud to say that, some of our most ardent critics have today become our greatest ally because they have seen the benefit that this World Cup has,” said the Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy.

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Hassan al Thawadi

He also explained that the World Cup's influence is not just limited to world class infrastructure but also helps Qatar on many other levels. 

“It is not a benefit that is only limited to fantastic stadiums and technology or hosting great events. But it is also on a humanitarian level, it is also on an educational level, and people begin to realize the vast expanse of influence that this World Cup has.”

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