Hassan Al Thawadi, the Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy (SC), the organisation responsible for the delivery of infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup, believes that the global showpiece event will act as a bridge between different cultures.
On Wednesday, FIFA revealed the match schedule for the 2022 edition of the tournament. Hosts Qatar will get the ball rolling on 21 November 2022, at the Al Bayt stadium with the game set to kick-off at 13:00 local time (3:30 pm IST).
Following the much-awaited reveal, Hassan Al Thawadi said, "Announcing the match schedule is a great milestone that we have achieved and arrived at. For us, over the last 10 years, we have been talking about preparation and I am very proud to say that we are very well advanced in terms of preparation. Most of the infrastructure is finalized, stadiums are coming into pipeline gradually by the end of next year as well."
The SC has been hard at work to make the 2022 edition of the World Cup, the first FIFA event set to take place in the Middle East, a unique experience. Their tagline is also 'Deliver Amazing'.
Al Thawadi pointed out that the upcoming event aims to bridge different cultures and also make the whole process of attending matches easy and affordable.
"The fact is it highlights the concept of the compact World Cup. It is promoting the concept that fans can watch more than one match a day - it gives the tournament a unique spirit. It is the first time that people will experience it.
"Although 2022 will be different from previous FIFA tournaments in many different factors, (there are) two main ones. We are infusing the spirit of the compact World Cup. Fans can watch more than one match a day, they don't have to worry about travel or changing accommodation. Once they arrive at Doha, they can focus on having fun, following and supporting their team and experiencing the Arab culture," the Secretary-General said.
He further added, "This will be the first World Cup in the Arab world. We have always said that we are aiming for it to be a bridge between cultures. It will be an opportunity for people from different backgrounds and different walks of life to not only experience great football but create lasting bonds and friendships, especially considering we are coming out of Covid-19. I genuinely believe it will be the first global celebration where we will collectively have overcome Covid-19. The significance has become even more (increased).
"(During) Previous tournaments, fans had to plan their travel, follow their teams, take planes, trains, automobiles to be able to follow their teams. In this tournament, the minute the fans land into Doha, their main focus is going to be following their team, watching more than one match a day and celebrating. The concerns and stress of different modes of transportation from city to city are eliminated.
"It will be a more affordable tournament, we have always wanted to ensure that the fan experience is complete on all fronts. it will be a tournament that is accessible to all football fans."