Qatar won the rights to host the 2022 World Cup back in 2nd of December eight years ago. The Middle-East nation got 14 votes to eight for USA in the fourth round and were the clear winners.
A lot was said in the aftermath of them winning the hosting rights with many questioning the decision to award it to a nation, with doubts raised as to whether they could host over 1 million fans. The then US President Barack Obama had said that he felt FIFA had made "the wrong decision" in giving the hosting rights to Qatar.
Alexi Lalas, the former USA football team captain, had also voiced his surprise at Qatar's success, pointing out that the size of the country, the heat would not make it feasible, before suggesting the decision was politically motivated.
Hassan Al Thawadi, The Secretary General for Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, shared an insight as to what made their bid document stronger and gave them an edge over the others.
Qatar is amongst the most centrally located nations in the world which makes it convenient for football fans across the world to travel and watch the greatest sporting spectacle on earth.
“Compared to somewhere else for example, across the different continents and oceans, there’s a big time difference. I think that is what made our bid very strong. The central geographic location of Qatar meant that people in India and China can watch most of the matches if not all the matches at a relatively reasonable prime time viewing. And also, people from the Western Hemisphere can watch those matches as well.
“So yes, we are very confident that it will be the most watched World Cup and hopefully, the most successful one too,” Thawadi told Goal.
The Sheffield University law graduate believes that the 2022 World Cup will witness the top-notch football never witnessed before at a major tournament. He also explained as to why it will be an amazing experience for fans who would get a chance to witness more than one match at the tournament in a day.
“Well, first, fans will be able to watch more than one game. They will not have to worry about changing the accommodation from one place to another. And because the matches will be held in November-December, it means they will be seeing players who don't have to travel from one place to another and so they will have a lot of energy. And it will be in the middle of the season, which means a lot of the players will have their energy levels very high. Which means that you will be able to watch the greatest football on the pitch itself,” Thawadi explained.
He has welcomed fans from across the world to come and visit the state of Qatar with an open mind and experience the World Cup in an Arabic environment known for its hospitality.
“Qatar is known for its sun, sand and beach. That is something that we are very proud of and are very happy to showcase our culture, our hospitality. But I believe the World Cup in its own is so exciting. The World Cup with the Arabic touch and the local puppetting culture to it will add a unique feel to it. Definitely, we are very excited to host it and to welcome the fans to the country.”