Qatar is fully committed to hosting the “greatest World Cup of all time,” Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Secretary-General Hassan al-Thawadi has said.
“Every day we are working to deliver the promises we made in 2010. We remain determined to host the greatest World Cup of all time,” al-Thawadi said exactly five years ahead of the event which kicks off on November 21, 2022.
“We have come a long way and achieved so much in the past seven years (since Qatar won the bid). Time and again we have delivered when it matters,” he added.
Despite the illegal blockade led by Saudi Arabia in cahoots with the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, al-Thawadi was more gung-ho than ever about Qatar’s trailblazing efforts coming to fruition.
“We know the next five years will be just as challenging – if not more challenging – than the previous seven. However, we are prepared to go the extra mile. For Qatar and the SC this is much more than football. We want this tournament to break down stereotypes, narrow the world’s cultural divides and bridge the gap between East and West,” he said.
Al-Thawadi stressed that he was proud of Qatar’s progress since 2010 and hopes the tournament can unite and inspire the entire region.
“Football has the power to unite and inspire like no other sport. We want our World Cup to be a catalyst for Qatar and the region to realise their full potential.”
He said efforts to malign Qatar in various ways ever since it won the bid to host the tournament had fallen flat and the country stands vindicated after being exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Michael Garcia Commission.
“We are confident in the integrity of our bid. We fully co-operated with the Garcia Commission. The result of the Garcia report exonerates us and confirms that ours was a clean bid,” he said, when asked if the ongoing FIFA corruption trial in New York would have any bearing on the 2022 event.
“The investigation is not in relation to the World Cup. We are not part to it. We are confident of the people we engage with. We are confident in the manner in which we engage with them,” he added.
If at all Qatar is in anyway implicated in New York, al-Thawadi said Qatar would not hesitate to take legal action.
“If we were unfairly and unjustly found guilty, we will take legal action. Of course, we will take all legal proceedings. We will appeal against whatever decisions that get made. It’s simple as that.
“If you are asking an innocent person what would you do if found guilty, my question to you would be what would an innocent person do? They would fight to be exonerated; they will fight to clear their name. That’s the only way, there is no alternative I can give. We are confident of the actions that we have taken. We are confident that we won’t be found guilty. If we were for whatever reason unjustly found, as an individual person or institution, guilty, we will continue fighting to clear our name.”
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