The 2022 World Cup kicks off in less than four months in Qatar. The excitement is bubbling up for the first-ever World Cup in the Middle-East region. The 2022 World Cup will also be a trailblazing tournament in many ways.
It will be the first World Cup to feature air-conditioned stadiums and fully demountable venues. Moreover, the seven new swanky venues built for the tournament have been done so sustainability in mind. Many of the stadiums' seats and facade will be donated to other countries while Stadium 974, built using shipping containers, will be demounted completely after the World Cup. Not to mention the infrastructure like green spaces around the stadium and the public transport which will help the society at large.
Denmark women's team star Nadia Nadim, one of the ambassadors of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, feels that the technological and social innovations around the World Cup will make it the benchmark against which future sporting tournaments will be measured.
"Qatar has been trying really hard to not make this World Cup just a month of events and end it like that. As you’ve seen in many tournaments, they build huge tournaments and it is empty later. Qatar are looking to incorporate the stadiums, infrastructure and environment so that it can be sued afterwards\," she told Goal.
"I was in Doha and had time to watch every stadium, how its built, the cooling system and more. The metro and tram transportation which can be used afterwards. They’ve tried to keep carbon-neutral. Some of the stadiums can be given away to other countries so that they can be reused and recycled.
"That is amazing to see you can do that. Hopefully this will be a standard for events coming in the future," she added.
The players won't have to worry about weather and dust while preparing for the games. They also won't have to burden themselves with the rigours of travelling, given that all the stadiums in Qatar are located within an hour's distance from each other. Nadim, who plays for Racing Louisville in the USA, pointed out how the cooling system could be a game changer.
"From a player's point of view, it is amazing to see that the environment for a player will be optimal. The weather will not have an impact on the players in Qatar and that is amazing. I’m currently playing in the US and it can get hot in some places. That plays a huge role in how you perform. Taking that away is a huge help.
"When I travel from one place in the US to another, it takes hours and that plays a huge role in recovery. When you have many games like in the World Cup, recovery is very important and removing travel will help teams be fresher and perform at the highest level. I think it is one of the first tournaments in the world to have (such a feature)."
Nadia is a multi-talented star who has roots in the region. She was born in Afghanistan and moved to Denmark at a young age. She rose through the ranks to become a star footballer and ended up playing for the likes of PSG. Interestingly, she is also a qualified doctor. Nadim feels that the World Cup will be a great opportunity for the world to experience the Middle-East region.
She feels football, and World Cup at large, is a great tool to bridge cultures.
"Football is a great tool to bridge cultures and societies. The reason is the love for the game. You might have different views about the world and on how you live. But when it comes to football, it is about passion. When all this comes to one place, it makes us realise it is possible to coexist and learn from each other.
"I was born in the region and raised in Europe and living in the states. I can see both points of view. What our differences are and where we agree on. I almost feel that there is an image of the Middle-East that is not totally accurate. This is an opportunity for the fans to view the World Cup and experience the culture of the region. That is what football is going to do. All you need is an open mind and open heart to see that. That is an exciting thing about the World Cup."