A sparkling opening ceremony inside the Bedouin-tent inspired Al Bayt Stadium will invite the world to come together in Qatar as the FIFA World Cup kicks off Sunday for the first time in the Middle East and Arab world.The 30-minute show will be full of surprises, with the main act featuring a performance of 'Dreamers' – another hit single on the FIFA World Cup Official Soundtrack – by celebrated South Korean pop star Jung Kook of BTS and Qatari singer Fahad al-Kubaisi.The theme of the opening ceremony is a gathering for all mankind, bridging differences through humanity, respect and inclusion."Football allows us to come together as one tribe and the earth is the tent in which we all live," FIFA said in a statement.The seven-act programme will be led by world class talents that interlace Qatari tradition with worldwide culture and will include tributes to the 32 competing teams, previous FIFA World Cup hosts and event volunteers.Along with hundreds of performers, FIFA World Cup ambassador Ghanim al-Muftah and Qatari singer Dana will encourage dialogue on inclusion and diversity.Spectators at the stadium and TV viewers are encouraged to take their seats at 5.30pm local time, as this unmissable show will begin at 5.40pm.At 7pm local time, hosts Qatar will take the pitch against Ecuador for the much-anticipated opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022.
Twelve years after it won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, Qatar's moment to shine is finally here. Over the next 29 days, Qatar’s gleaming, eight magnificent architectural venues and the country’s world class infrastructure will welcome fans from all parts of the world for the football extravaganza.Fittingly, it will be Qatar players who will walk into the Al Bayt stadium – a 60,000-seat venue meant to resemble a tent historically used by nomadic people in Qatar – to take on Ecuador in the opening game. Before that, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will declare the tournament open after the opening ceremony, which promises to be both spectacular and a mix of entertainment and display of Qatar’s rich cultural heritage. A number of heads of states and heads of delegations of brotherly and friendly countries will be present.The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin at 5pm, with the Qatar-Ecuador clash taking place two hours later. The gates to the Al Bayt Stadium will open at 2pm as the organisers urged the fans to reach the venue early to avoid the congestion.The line-up of artists has been kept under wraps with only confirmation being Jungkook, one of seven members of South Korea's popular BTS boy band, set to perform a track titled "Dreamers" along with Qatari singer Fahad al-Kubaisi at the ceremony.The celebrations, however, have already begun weeks ahead with the residents and fans from outside the country flocking Qatar’s important landmarks as they wait for the tournament to kick-start.Organisers say that 2.9mn of the 3.1mn tickets have been sold, with a sell-out crowd expected Sunday. Also, it is estimated more than 5bn people around the world will watch the World Cup, surpassing the 3.5bn who tuned in to watch the 2018 tournament in Russia.FIFA president Gianni Infantino Saturday called on teams to "focus on football" and accused critics in western countries of "hypocrisy" and “racism” towards Qatar.
The beIN Media Group (beIN) announced Saturday that it will broadcast 22 matches of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on its free-to-air beIN Sports channel in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The free-to-air coverage will kick off with the opening match on Sunday, 20 November at the Al Bayt Stadium as Qatar takes on Ecuador, the beIn said ina press statement Saturday.The announcement means millions of fans and families across the 24-country MENA region can celebrate and experience the magic of the World Cup, held for the first time in their home region, the release said. The free-to-air beIN Sports channel will be the home of these 22 free broadcasts, which will sit alongside the full 64 matches and wider coverage of the tournament on the beIN Sports Max channels.beIN Sports is the Official Broadcaster and exclusive broadcast rights holder of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 across 24 countries in MENA, playing a central role in showcasing the historic tournament around the world.Mohammad Al-Subaie, CEO of beIN – MENA, said: “This is a celebration of a World Cup in and for the Arab world. We are thrilled to be able to offer key matches free-to-air to the region’s passionate football fans. When we first became Official Broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, our mission was to pursue every opportunity to open up access to the tournament to the multitude of fans in this region. We remain committed to making our content widely available and we know how significant and unifying this tournament is for us all.”Today’s announcement comes shortly after beIN unveiled its extensive coverage plans on beIN Sports for the entire tournament. In addition to the content offered free-to-air, subscribers to beIN Sports will also have access to every single game of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, with every minute of all 64 matches live in four languages, on seven dedicated channels, together with the best commentators, angles and analysis broadcast straight to their TVs, mobiles and tablets. This complete package of live coverage will also be complemented by beIN's signature high-quality support programming.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has announced that carbon savings from Qatar’s new 800 MW solar power plant will be used to offset approximately half the emissions generated from the country’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup.The Al Kharsaah Solar PV Independent Power Producer Project will commit 1.8m tons of carbon savings to Qatar 2022. The plant opened in October and will help to considerably reduce Qatar’s carbon footprint. The project covers 10km – the equivalent of 1,400 football pitches. During its first year of operation, it is expected to generate almost 2,000,000 MWh, the equivalent energy consumption of approximately 55,000 Qatari households. A report published in 2021 estimated that Qatar 2022 would generate about 3.6m tons of carbon emissions. Data will be collected during the tournament to update the carbon inventory report and adjust the offsetting strategy accordingly. While about 50% of the emissions will be compensated by savings from the solar power plant, the SC will source an additional 1.5m tons through carbon-offsetting projects approved by the Global Carbon Council.The SC, in collaboration with FIFA and Q22, has prioritised climate action over the past 12 years, as detailed in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Sustainability Strategy. Tournament organisers have committed to delivering a carbon-neutral event – helped by a comprehensive range of initiatives, including free public transport for fans and officials, no domestic flights, green building practices, extensive recycling and composting, and electric vehicles.Eng. Yasir Al Jamal, Director General, SC, said: “Delivering a carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup is a countrywide effort. We are proud of the vast number of projects implemented to help Qatar achieve this goal, from wide-ranging green building practices, including the development of Stadium 974, the first fully-demountable stadium in FIFA World Cup history, to projects related to recycling, composting and the use of green vehicles. “The announcement today that carbon savings generated from the Al Kharsaah solar power plant will help to offset the emissions of hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world highlights Qatar’s commitment to environmental sustainability and setting a benchmark for future mega-event hosts.”Qatar 2022 organisers will include all unavoidable carbon emissions in their inventory – including flights taken by fans, players, officials and media.Eng. Bodour Al Meer, Sustainability Executive Director, SC, said: “Our carbon reduction strategy has encompassed every area of tournament preparation. Delivering the first carbon-neutral FIFA World Cup in history will be a major achievement and help to promote the environmental agenda in Qatar, the region and globally. We thank our various stakeholders for their unwavering support and commitment in achieving this goal.”Click here for further information about how Qatar is delivering a sustainable and environmentally-friendly FIFA World Cup™.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino blasted the "hypocrisy" of Western critics of Qatar's human rights record Saturday, making a passionate defence of the World Cup in the Gulf state on the eve of the kick-off. Infantino, speaking at his opening press conference of the tournament in Doha, had harsh words for critics of Qatar."This moral lesson-giving -- one-sided -- is just hypocrisy," said the global football supremo. "Doha is ready, Qatar is ready and of course it will be the best World Cup ever. I am European. For what we have been doing for 3,000 years around the world, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before giving moral lessons," he said."I don't want to give you any lessons of life, but what is going on here is profoundly, profoundly unjust. This one-sided moral lesson is just hypocrisy," he added.
Jung Kook of BTS is set to release new track 'Dreamers' for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 official soundtrack.At the opening ceremony of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Jung Kook will be performing the official soundtrack “Dreamers”.Jung Kook's label, Big Hit Music, released a statement on Weverse confirming the participation of Jung Kook in the opening ceremony on Nov 20 at Al Bayt Stadium. The track is set to release tomorrow morning at 8am Qatar time."Dreamers" will then be performed live by Jung Kook at the World Cup opening ceremony.In the information provided by Big Hit Music, Jung Kook is expected to perform some time between 5:40pm - 6:10pm.
Croatia say they thrive on being considered underdogs and warned on Saturday that they have what it takes to reach the World Cup final again.Led by inspirational captain Luka Modric, unfancied Croatia reached the final four years ago in Russia before losing 4-2 to France.Few are predicting an ageing squad will do as well in Qatar in the coming weeks - and that is just the way the players like it."We don't put any extra pressure on ourselves and we don't really care about these predictions," said striker Bruno Petkovic."We don't listen to that or read that. We just need to take it step by step, we have our own goal and we are focused on that."At the end, we will see who was right in their predictions."Fellow forward Marko Livaja was similarly bullish, adding: "I think we have a really good chance to repeat something similar to what we did in Russia."Croatia begin their Qatar campaign on Wednesday against Morocco in a Group F, which also contains Canada and Belgium.Along with Brazil, Argentina, Spain, England, Germany and holders France, the Belgians are one of the sides expected to go far at this World Cup.Croatia still boast Real Madrid playmaker Modric and fellow veteran Ivan Perisic, but some say they lack the firepower to mount a serious challenge in Qatar."I'm used in my career that I'm not very liked by most media so I don't really care about that," said Dinamo Zagreb's Petkovic, who has scored six times in 23 matches for his country."I'm focused on improving myself and contributing to the success of the team," added the 28-year-old."I think we have excellent forwards. Maybe not all of us have a great international career or we're not internationally recognised."But we have a lot of quality and I don't think we need to be worried about our forwards."
Ecuador will be in the spotlight from the start of this year’s FIFA World Cup, as they face host nation Qatar in the opening match at Al Bayt Stadium on 20 November.La Tricolor fans are sure to travel in numbers for the occasion – and they will be joined by Doha-based Ecuadorian, Maria Fernanda Iglesias. The 36-year-old has lived in Qatar since 2016 and works in public relations for Qatar Tourism.Originally from Quito, Maria, who lives at The Pearl with her husband Alvaro and children Agustin and Samuel, expects Ecuador fans to be noisy and passionate during international football’s showpiece event.What can fans expect when they arrive in Qatar for the tournament?First of all, Qatar is very compact, so you will have the chance to visit all eight World Cup stadiums. The new Doha Metro will make it easy to get around. Visitors will also learn that Qatari people are very friendly and open-minded. The World Cup is an opportunity to engage with people from everywhere.What are the best places to visit in Qatar?The first place to start is Souq Waqif. I’ve been to similar markets around the world – but this place has something for everyone. I would also recommend Msheireb. The museums are also great and showcase the rich aspects of Qatari culture. The Pearl and Lusail are very modern. I would also recommend Katara Cultural Village.What advice would you give to Ecuador fans who will visit Qatar for the World Cup?The best advice I can offer is to have fun and enjoy the experience. This is going to be a big party for everyone who attends. Fans back home have asked me many questions – mainly about dress codes and how to get around. Many are asking about the opening day, as they arrive on 20 November and want to get straight to Al Bayt Stadium for the match. I have been informed there will be a special line of entry for Ecuador fans who arrive on the opening day, so they can make it to the stadium on time.What can we expect from Ecuador fans in Qatar?We love to show our colours and passion for football. We are all very proud of our team. You will see us at the stadiums and also at the many entertainment sites around the country. I’m expecting around 5,000 Ecuador fans to travel to Qatar for the tournament.The eyes of the world will be on Al Bayt Stadium for the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador. How proud will you feel when that match kicks off?As someone living here in Qatar with my family, and seeing my national team playing Qatar in that opening match, it will be a moment of unity. I get emotional just thinking about what that night at Al Bayt Stadium will be like. For all Ecuadorians, that day will be the best party we could have. We’re going to have fun.Ecuador will play their next two group matches at Khalifa International Stadium. How much are you looking forward to sampling the atmosphere against the Netherlands and Senegal?Ecuador fans will do everything to support our team in those games. I cannot imagine how powerful fans can be for a national team, so that is why we want to deliver these emotions. As we play in yellow, we will be very bright and visible in the stadium. I also know that our friends in the local Latin American community will cheer for Ecuador in these games – and we are delighted to have their support.This will be Ecuador’s fourth appearance at a FIFA World Cup™. How do you think La Tricolor will fare at Qatar 2022? This is going to be the first World Cup with this young national team, and we have been waiting for the past eight years to see our team return to this big competition. I was in Germany in September to see Ecuador play a tough Japan team and I was excited. I saw an Ecuadorian team that will need to be organised here in Qatar, but I think we can make history on the opening day and in this World Cup.
Portugal captain Cristian Ronaldo said that he is ready to represent his national team at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which starts in Sunday.Ronaldo said in remarks reported by the FIFA website that Qatar will host the best World Cup ever, thanks to the preparations that were announced and the compact nature of the competition as a result of the close distance between the World Cup.The five-time golden ball winner said that he is looking forward to a good World Cup with his national team that makes the Portuguese fans happy. He added that there are many factors that will help Portugal play at its best, particularly that the players are showing the desire to give their best.He said that the Qatar competition was unique in terms of being the first one that takes place in the winter and in a new region, stressing that competition will be strong between all the participating teams.
Indian drums drowned out Argentina's diehard fans as hundreds waited hours to get a glimpse of a bus carrying Lionel Messi outside his World Cup team base in Qatar.The drummers and Indian beat dancers again showed how Qatar 2022 is going to be a different experience for players and visiting fans. Supporters from the subcontinent had outnumbered England fans when they greeted Harry Kane's side on Tuesday.A crowd of more than 500 that had waited until nearly 4:00 am (0100GMT) to see the arrival of their heroes was split evenly between Argentina's Indian fans and those from the South American country.The team flew in early Thursday from Abu Dhabi, where they beat United Arab Emirates 5-0 in their final World Cup warm-up on Wednesday night with Messi, 35, scoring his 91st international goal.One of the favourites going into this year's World Cup, the South Americans will begin their campaign on Tuesday against Saudi Arabia in Group C, which also includes Mexico and Poland.Members of the Argentina Fans In Qatar club, who claim more than 5,000 members, brought drums decorated with "Leo" Messi's portrait to the team base at Qatar University."If this is going to be Leo's last World Cup there can be no better place for it," said Munish Sharma who recalled seeing Messi score the winning goal when Argentina beat Brazil 1-0 in a friendly match in Doha in 2010.Indian fans have already made their mark with thousands taking part in a march and wearing the jerseys from top football nations, including Argentina, Brazil and England."They do make a lot of noise," said Laura Valero who arrived from Buenos Aires on Tuesday.'We wanted to see Leo'The two groups of fans battled to see who could make the most noise. Silvia Perla, a 68-year-old Argentine from Catamarca, had her picture taken with Hakeem Salih and others from among the Indians."I tried to teach them what we were singing and they tried to teach me some words," she said.The wait into the night became interminable for some who left before the Argentina bus sped past about 100 metres from where Messi's adoring fans were kept behind a wire fence."We wanted to see Leo, it's a shame," said Diego Cordovez, whose voice was hoarse from hours of singing."But he needs rest, that's more important," he added.Messi, 35, won a Copa America title last year but the Qatar tournament is probably his last chance to equal Argentine great Diego Maradona in leading his country to World Cup glory.The 1978 and 1986 World Cup winners extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches against the UAE.Messi has been cautious about the team's chances in Qatar."We have a very nice group that is very eager, but we think about going little by little. We know that World Cup groups are not easy," the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner said in an interview with CONMEBOL, the South American football federation.
World and Olympic high jump champion Mutaz Barshim understands the impact of hosting major sporting events – and believes Qatar’s staging of the FIFA World Cup presents a unique opportunity to unite people through their shared love of football.“The World Cup will positively impact our society by showcasing our culture worldwide and helping people to create friendships and build networks. It is a golden opportunity to change negative perceptions about the region and create new and meaningful connections,” said Barshim, who is also a FIFA World Cup Ambassador.Growing up, Barshim was inspired by his father, who was also a track and field athlete. Barshim would follow his father to the local training club before later joining the Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence – where he soon became one of the country’s most promising track and field athletes.Barshim’s breakthrough year came in 2010 when he won the World Junior Championships. He has won a slew of medals since, including three World Athletics Championships titles, in 2017, 2019 and 2022.He claimed Olympic silver in 2012 and 2016 before bagging gold at Tokyo 2020 after sharing the high jump title with Italian Gianmarco Tamberi. Barshim is the first Qatari to win Olympic gold in a track and field event.Barshim said: “I have lived the dream of being at a global event and it having a major impact on me. The things I have learned, the experiences I went through, the relationships I built, the friendships I formed and the milestones I have been able to achieve – they all made a really positive change in my life and I can’t wait to see that happen here in Qatar during the World Cup.”The tournament will get underway when hosts Qatar face Ecuador at the majestic Al Bayt Stadium. Barshim said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that won’t be repeated. We’re hosting the World Cup in an Arab country and a Muslim country for the first time. I hope everyone comes and makes the most of this experience to learn more about Arab hospitality and all different cultures.”As well as top-class football, Qatar will host a vast array of entertainment options during the World Cup, including the FIFA Fan Festival at Al Bidda Park and the 6km Corniche Activation. Barshim encourages all fans to enjoy the exciting and welcoming nature of the first World Cup in the region.“When fans experience everything first-hand and take in the festive atmosphere they will feel the uniqueness of this moment. I hope everyone uses this opportunity to come and have the best time,” he said.
New service aims to monitor and moderate hate speech on social media All players from 32 participating teams to be offered service during FIFA World CupTo tackle discrimination and to protect the mental health and wellbeing of players, FIFA and FIFPRO – the worldwide representative organisation for professional footballers – are launching a social media protection service (SMPS) in advance of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.Through SMPS, all players from all 32 participating member associations at the FIFA World Cup will have access to a dedicated monitoring, reporting and moderation service designed to minimise visibility of hate speech aimed at them on social media and, therefore, protecting both players and their fans from online abuse during the tournament.“FIFA is committed to provide the best possible conditions for players to perform to the best of their abilities. At the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, we are happy to launch a service that will help to protect players from the damaging effects that social media posts can cause to their mental health and wellbeing,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said.“It is football’s responsibility to protect the players and other affected groups against the abuse they increasingly face in and around their workplace. This type of abuse has a profound impact on their personalities, their families, performance as well as on their overall well-being and mental health,” said FIFPRO President David Aganzo. “We hope that the social media protection service provides a starting point to help to defend participants from abusive messages and that social media companies join and support us in tackling the issue at the FIFA World Cup.”Former Brazil forward Willian is supporting the launch of the FIFA social media protection service, having experienced first-hand the difficulties related to online abuse. His recent experience playing in Brazil – where his family was threatened and abused online – forced him to return to England, where he is now playing for Fulham FC.“I was suffering a lot, and my family were suffering a lot because people started attacking us on social media, attacking my family, my daughters, and that’s why I’m standing now with FIFA to see if you can stop these kinds of things,” Willian said.The launch of the social media protection service follows the publication of two independent reports produced by FIFA and FIFPRO in June that highlighted the increasing degree of abuse directed at footballers across social media platforms during international tournaments.As a result, FIFA is monitoring the social media accounts of all participants at the FIFA World Cup by scanning for public-facing abusive, discriminatory and threatening comments and then reporting them to social networks and law authorities for real-world action against those who break rules.Teams, players and other individual participants will also be able to opt-in to a moderation service that will instantly hide abusive and offensive comments on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, preventing them from being seen by the recipient and their followers.As well as launching the FIFA social media protection service, FIFA and FIFPRO are engaging with social media platforms to have their support in being part of the solution.
Vodafone Qatar has partnered with Mowasalat to launch a public Wi-Fi service for passengers on buses and taxis across the country.The service, according to an official Vodafone statement, will enable residents, visitors and fans to stay connected via Vodafone’s reliable network whilst on the move, throughout events taking place in Qatar until the end of this year.The new Wi-Fi service will provide seamless internet access to customers using over 4,000 buses and 1,000 taxis in Qatar, delivering an uninterrupted connectivity experience to the public. Passengers using a Mowasalat bus or taxi will be able to use the Wi-Fi service whether they are residents or visitors in Qatar. This service will be available for free for visiting fans during this year’s event.Vodafone Qatar Enterprise Business Unit Director, Mahday Saad al-Hebabi said "Mowasalat’s buses and taxis are established means of public transportation in Qatar, and they have been our partner for over 10 years as they benefit from a range of Vodafone Qatar Business services.“We are proud to be Mowasalat’s partner of choice in adding Wi-Fi access to their buses and taxis during this historic, important and exciting time for our country,” he said.The strategic partnership is a testament to a strong collaboration to deliver a world-class digital experience from Vodafone Qatar in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.Ahmed al-Muftah, Mowasalat (Karwa) CAO, said "the partnership with Vodafone Qatar enables the company to offer passengers onboard our Karwa taxis, Doha Limousines and buses free Wi-Fi access to stay connected with the world.“At Mowasalat, we have always been keen and proactive adopters of technological solutions to enhance our customer’s travel experience. With high-speed internet on board in all our vehicles, we aim to make every ride with Karwa connected, comfortable and enjoyable,” he said.Vodafone Qatar continues its contribution in the public transport industry by expanding its services across all public transport platforms. In 2020, Vodafone Qatar partnered with Qatar Rail (QRail) to install a public Wi-Fi service on the Doha Metro Red, Green and Gold Lines, and provide passengers with internet access in all stations and on board the trains.Vodafone Qatar promises all passengers on public transport a seamless connectivity and reliable online experience on their journeys across the country.
With the big kick-off only days away, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 organisers have released key travel information for fans attending matches.Qatar residents should drive to matches People who live in Qatar and have access to a car should drive to matches. There is ample free parking within walking distance of all eight stadiums. Local residents are encouraged to drive in order to free up capacity on the Doha Metro and other public transport services for visitors.Click here for detailed information about getting to each stadium.The Doha Metro will be much busier than normalThe Doha Metro will be extremely busy for extended periods on match days. Long queues are expected outside metro stations across the country. Fans travelling by metro should allow plenty of time to complete their journey. Fans should also note that all metro stations will close daily at 3 AM throughout the tournament.Click here for further information about Doha Metro services.Consider using dedicated bus services to reach stadiumsA range of Stadium Express bus services will be available from central Doha bus hubs and key accommodation sites. These are expected to provide the quickest route to and from matches.Click here for detailed information about getting to each stadium.Travel light where possible on public transportAs metro and bus services are expected to be busy transporting fans, people with luggage are advised to use taxis or rideshare options. At busy times, you may not be permitted to access the metro with luggage.Visit www.qatar2022.qa/getting-around for detailed transport information. Follow @Roadto2022Go on Twitter for daily travel updates.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser al-Khater has denounced allegations by the Western media about the tournament organisers using expatriate fans to attend matches in exchange for money, as part of the systematic smear campaigns that have increased recently before the start of the most prominent sporting event in the world.Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA), al-Khater said some of the reports published by English and French newspapers about hiring migrant workers to pose as fans to attend matches are completely false, describing these allegations as a new attempt to defame and question the ability of Qatar to host the World Cup.He added that since Qatar won the honour of hosting the World Cup, there have been continuous attempts over 12 years to defame the tournament, stressing that the country will organise an exceptional tournament, and this will be clear in a few days.In his statement to QNA, al-Khater affirmed his rejection of the belittlement of a group of people living in Qatar, some of whom have lived in Qatar for more than 30 years. He said it is shameful to belittle those fans who will watch World Cup matches and describe them as paid workers for a World Cup that has sold 3.1mn tickets so far, stressing that residents of Qatar are very passionate about football.Al-Khater sent a message to all residents of Qatar, stating that the World Cup is everyone's tournament and represents Qatar and its people, citizens and residents, as well as the Gulf countries and the entire region.On Sunday, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will commence as the first edition to be held in the Arab region and the Middle East. Qatar's national team will begin the tournament by facing Ecuador in the opening match at Al Bayt Stadium.Campaigns involving fabrications have crossed all limits in an attempt to undermine Qatar and question its capabilities and the efforts it has made over the years to host the World Cup in an Arab and Muslim country for the first time.The fabrications, allegations and malicious campaigns against Qatar have recently taken a different turn by adopting a systematic racist discourse that incites hatred and aims to offend the State without real justifications. What the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is exposed to amounts to intellectual and media terrorism and a psychological warfare based on racist pretexts from some parties that do not like the realisation of Arab generations' dream to organise the tournament in Qatar.
HE Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani chaired the Cabinet's regular meeting held at its seat at the Amiri Diwan on Wednesday afternoon.Following the meeting, HE the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs issued the following statement:At the outset of the meeting, the Cabinet welcomed the leaders of fraternal and friendly countries and heads of delegations who will join His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the opening of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 on Sunday.The Cabinet also welcomed the national teams and missions of countries participating in the tournament, expressing the State of Qatar's pride in hosting this tournament, the global scale it represents, and the higher human meanings and values it symbolizes. The Cabinet stressed that since winning the bid to host the FIFA World Cup, the State of Qatar has been working diligently and confidently to achieve an exceptional tournament that possesses all the elements for success and reflects the achievements and generosity of the Qatari people as well as the authenticity, civilization, and culture of the Arab world and the Middle East region.The Cabinet wished everyone to spend days filled with excitement and happiness during their stay in Qatar with the hospitality of its people, who will welcome the people of the world during this historical event that symbolizes the spirit of fraternity, cultural communication, and familiarity among people, which leads to deepening the feeling of harmony, tolerance, and cooperation.After that, the Cabinet considered the topics on its agenda as follows:First: Approval of a draft law on Border Measures to Protect Intellectual Property Rights.The draft law is meant to replace Law No. 17 of 2011 on Border Measures to Protect Intellectual Property Rights within the framework of updating legislation and keeping pace with changes.The draft law aims to strengthen the role of customs in combating infringement of intellectual property rights by stopping clearance procedures and releasing imported, exported, or re-exported goods that bear counterfeit trademarks or represent copyrights plagiarism and contribute to combating commercial fraud and related money laundering crimes.Second: Approval of the draft decision of the President of the National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) to issue the organizational structure of the agency.Third: Approval of the draft decision of the Minister of Endowments and Islamic Affairs regarding allocating an annual percentage of the endowment's revenues for its construction and reconstruction.This draft decision comes withing the framework of implementing the provisions of Law No. 9 of 2021 regarding the endowment.Fourth: The approval of:1- A draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of giftedness and creativity between the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in the State of Qatar and the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity "Mawhiba" in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.2- A draft memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the fields of translating and publishing classics between the Ministry of Culture in the State of Qatar and the National Press and Publication Administration in the People's Republic of China.Fifth: The Cabinet followed up the arrangements and preparations for hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and took the appropriate decision in their regard.Sixth: The Cabinet reviewed the following issues and took appropriate decisions in their regard:1- A report on the work of the National Committee for the Affairs of Woman, Children, the Elderly and People with Disabilities.2- A report on the work progress and achievements of the Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities.
Al Khor Park is one of the most prominent entertainment destinations for families in Qatar. It was opened in 1983 and reopened on Feb 16, 2020, after the completion of its development and maintenance project.The park, which covers an area of about 240,000 sqm and is located 55 km from Doha, and a few km from Al Bayt Stadium, one of the stadiums for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, will serve as an ideal destination for World Cup fans during the tournament.The park is characterised by its vast bright green areas and large trees such as Gum Arabic trees and Sidr trees. It receives more than 500,000 visitors annually and is divided into two main parts, the environmental, which represents about 35 percent of the total area of the park, and the recreational, which represents 56 percent.The environmental part has a distinctive zoo with an area of 1335 m, containing more than 315 animals of 49 species and families, including lions, tigers, black jaguar leopards, cheetahs, crocodiles, bears, giraffes, gazelle deer, sika deer, African ostriches, Australian ostriches, pygmy goats, monkeys, rare pygmy monkeys, chimpanzees, rhinoceros, Asian and wild cats, zebras.The environmental part also includes a bird cage, which is one of the largest cages, with an area of 11,400 sqm and a height of 40 m and contains many birds, including parrots, peacocks, macaw birds, African casco birds, lovebirds, feral pigeons, Amazon parrots, flamingos, ibis, white geese, white ducks, guinea fowls.The environmental side of the Al Khor Family Park includes a veterinary clinic to serve birds and animals, in addition to an air-conditioned museum, with an area of 1,200 sqm, an exhibition hall, and a lecture hall suitable for many and varied purposes.As for the entertainment service part, it contains two children's play areas covered with a rubber floor with an area of 4000 sqm suitable for different ages. Moreover, the park contains an artificial lake with an area of about 2500 sqm and has an air-conditioned covered area, outdoor patios overlooking the lake, waterfalls fountains, and a family restaurant that rises about 2 m above the level of the surrounding green areas.The entertainment part includes a 160 sqm open Roman theatre, which is an amphitheatre that can accommodate 400 people, with night lights, changing rooms, and theatre equipment, and a skating area, which is dedicated to skating with slopes and heights of 3m, located next to the Roman theatre.The entertainment part of Al Khor Family Park includes a golf course and a basketball court, which are intended for different ages and has an area of about 2,500 m, and is very popular with visitors.Al Khor Park also includes more than 42 species of trees, shrubs, and different perennial plants, in addition to many seasonal flowers, a mosque that can accommodate 360 men and women, administrative buildings and offices for employees, and bathroom areas distributed throughout the park, as well as 700 parking spaces, 13 parking spaces for people with special needs and 6 bus stops.As for the visiting times, Al Khor Family Park is open from 8 am to 10 pm on all days of the week for families, except for Sundays which for everyone. The last time for selling tickets is at 8 pm.
Since winning the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has started to mobilise its efforts, employ its experiences and expertise, and strengthen its regional and international cooperation to secure this global event, making it the safest and most secure World Cup edition.The State of Qatar has inspiring experiences, wisdom and insight in hosting international mega events and activities that require crowd management and achieving the maximum levels of safety and security for participants and visitors from all around the world.Qatar's recent history includes a long list of organising hundreds of international events, forums, and mega sports events. One of the biggest sports tournaments organised by Qatar was the 15th Asian Games (XV Asiad) which was described as "the games of a lifetime" given the exceptional success in security and organisation. The list goes on to include the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics, the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, the 2015 World Men's Handball Championship, and more than 500 other regional and international sports tournaments organised over the past 15 years.Qatar's success in securing sporting events is not strange for a country that enjoys political, social, and economic stability as well as a high level of security as affirmed by global indicators that classify Qatar as one of the most secure countries in the world and ranks among the top in societal safety and security according to these indicators.Talking in numbers, according to Global Peace Index (GPI), Qatar ranked first among the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), while it ranked 23rd globally among 163 countries included in the report on the level of security, advancing by six places over the previous year, as the safest and most secure state.The Global Peace Index report issued by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) in Australia is based on three main criteria, including: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic and international conflict, and the degree of militarization. In addition, there are a host of other criteria related to the internal and external affairs of states.Qatar has maintained its high rank in several security indicators contained in the report, including criminality in society, terrorist activity, homicides, safety, and security, organised internal conflicts, and terrorism and political stability.Qatar also ranked first globally, within the Arab world, and within the Middle East in the Security Index for the year 2022, issued by the worldwide database (Numbeo).All these indicators affirm that extending safety and security is an indispensable priority, a consistent approach no matter the circumstances, and a right for everyone who lives in this country or visiting as a guest. Based on that, Qatar has placed the safety of all participants of FIFA World Cup Qatar whether teams, fans, or visitors at the top of its main priorities to prepare in advance to secure this event and guarantee full readiness on various logistical, human, and technical levels.To achieve maximum safety and security, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Safety and Security Operations Committee (SSOC) has launched a bundle of plans, programs, training and qualification workshops, and joint exercises, to raise the human cadre capabilities, in implementation of the tournament's security strategy.Among the training programs designed for governmental and private security, the program on the security and safety of sports fans which included several training courses on stadium safety and security, security sense, crowd management, human rights, first aid, cooperation with the crowd, in addition to the Tournament Policies and Procedures program which covered facility evacuation simulations and training on how to deal with possible scenarios.These programs were conducted in cooperation with specialised experts from the European Police and Europol with 49,000 participants - 32,000 individuals from government security and 17,000 individuals from private security.In Nov. 2021, the SSOC organised the 'Watan' joint exercise to confirm security readiness. The exercise was conducted with the participation of all military, civil, organisational, and service authorities in the country, each according to its competence along with 13 brotherly and friendly countries.The "Watan" security exercise was the largest of its kind in terms of the number of participating authorities internally and externally, in addition to the evolving of its events to combine security, military, organisational, and service aspects. It also featured the diversification of its various scenarios and gradations based on all kinds of potential internal and external risks during the tournament's organisation.At the time of the exercise, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) pointed out that the exercise aims to enhance close cooperation with the brotherly and friendly forces participating in it and to ensure the integration of efforts and cooperation to achieve the best security experiences in major sporting events hosted by the State of Qatar.The SSOC said that the "Watan" exercise resembles an integration of the civil and military authorities' roles and that these authorities deliver the same message "Qatar is a ready and safe country that has harmonious authorities with ready personnel to organise a safe tournament." Regarding foreign cooperation, the State of Qatar strengthened its cooperation with regional and international partners. The State of Qatar signed several agreements and memoranda of understanding with different countries and international organisations such as (Interpol, the International Centre for Sport Security ISCC, The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation Europol) to ensure a smooth exchange of information and expertise in the security domains to strengthen the security of the tournament and leaves a global legacy to be used by countries wishing to host mega sports events.The Last Mile Security Conference, organised by the SSOC in May 2022, was a testament to Qatar's keenness to follow up the implementation of security plans and strategies in cooperation with regional and international partners, strengthen bilateral cooperation in the security field, and to stand on the final required security preparations.The conference also witnessed the signing of an agreement between the State of Qatar and the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) to extend cooperation for (Project Stadia), which was established by Interpol in 2012, with funding and support from the State of Qatar, with the aim of serving countries wishing to host major sporting events. In addition, a joint declaration on the International Police Cooperation Center also was signed between the State of Qatar and a number of countries participating in the conference.In the context of international cooperation, as well as achieving the highest levels of security during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the State of Qatar established the International Police Cooperation Center (IPCC) with the launch of the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019. The IPCC is an operations room managed and supervised by the SSOC, and it has been provided with the latest advanced technological means and the necessary infrastructure for the centre to perform its role and achieve its goals. A group of young, qualified officers with outstanding skills has also been deployed at the centre.The State of Qatar crowned these efforts by hosting the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021, which offered an opportunity to measure security, logistical, and organisational readiness. The FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 constituted a true test for the quality of the security services that will be provided to World Cup fans and participants alike in a new inspirational experience shared with the world.In his statement in September 2022 regarding the updates of securing World Cup Fans, Colonel Jassem Al-Sayed from the SSOC said that FIFA World Cup Qatar will not just be the most successful in terms of organisation but will also be the safest and most secure. He added that previous tournaments organised by Qatar had given the SSOC a great deal of experience in terms of security matters.Qatar's security efforts in preparation for the World Cup were praised by FIFA. During the "Last Mile" security conference, FIFA's Director of Security Helmut Spahn stressed that the level of integration and partnership that has been achieved with the SSOC reassures that the tournament will be delivered to the highest safety standards.Spahn said that the State of Qatar spared no effort in building comprehensive international cooperation, something that FIFA has been very supportive of from the start. He added that considering Qatar's efforts regarding the planning aspects, FIFA is confident that the country will deliver a safe and secure tournament for all participants.Spahn stressed that FIFA as the governing body of the game participated in the preparations for the tournament in Qatar, adding that since being established in 2012, the SSOC has been working closely with FIFA.In a related context, project "Stadia" a Qatari project that started in 2012 in collaboration with Interpol is one of the main projects that took shape after Qatar won the bid to host the FIFA World Cup. The project aims to help member countries of the Interpol organisation set and implement police and security measures within the framework of preparing for mega sports events. The 12-year running project contributes to the police and security arrangements for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which leaves a sustainable legacy for the world law enforcement mediums.As for the project and its role in securing mega events, the Director General of Stadia Project Falah Al Dosari said, in his statements on the sidelines of the Last Mile' security conference, that the State of Qatar managed to qualify its national cadres on the highest levels, making the Stadia project guided by Qatari cadres and nominate them to participate in international sporting events, to benefit from the knowledge earned by the law enforcement agencies in the State of Qatar in securing these major events. He added that all the data indicate that the upcoming World Cup will be the safest and most secure edition.He clarified that the success of the Stadia project was a catalyst for the signing of the extension agreement for a period of two years ending in 2024 due to the urgent need for such a project that works to leave a common international legacy.With wisdom, insight, and multidimensional vision, the State of Qatar continues its security preparations to host the FIFA World Cup. During the preparations, Qatar managed to shape its philosophy by qualifying its security cadres who will oversee this national mission and establishing regional and international partnerships to benefit from experiences and expertise. The will of Qatari citizens and residents remains the main front line to secure the tournament so that Qatar once again proves to be the world's safest place and the worthiest to host such a global event.
HE Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to the State of Qatar Javier Carbajosa Sanchez praised the great efforts exerted by the State of Qatar to ensure the success of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and to provide a distinguished tournament that is filled with wonderful events.In an exclusive statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), HE the Spanish Ambassador said, "I have no doubt that Qatar will fully deliver, and that we will enjoy a stunning World Cup competition. Congratulations to Qatar, and let the games begin!" "The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is, without any doubt, a major sport event, as it is the first edition to happen in an Arab country. It will draw the world's attention for more than a month and be followed live by hundreds of millions of people," HE the Ambassador added.HE Ambassador Javier Carbajosa Sanchez, on his behalf and on behalf of the Spanish community living in Qatar, expressed happiness with the State's commitment and its continuous emphasis on welcoming all visitors without discrimination, stressing: "I would like to share our excitement and anticipation to be a part of the celebrations surrounding the World Cup in Qatar."