Qatar steaming ahead towards 2022 World Cup
June 04 2018 11:42 PM
An artist impression of Al Thumama stadium.

By Sports Reporter/Doha

December 2, 2010 was a red-letter day in the history of sport. It was on this day that the world woke up to the reality of a changing sporting dynamic exemplified by Qatar winning the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The stunning success came in Qatar’s first attempt, sending shockwaves across football’s traditional bastions and evoking awe and curiosity. Predictably, it also triggered off a maelstrom of conspiracy theories based on stereotypes, hate, fear and bias.
But with just four years to go for the historic first FIFA World cup in the Muslim world, there is much to celebrate.  Of the eight World Cup stadiums, one, the Khalifa Stadium, has been built and work on six others is continuing at a brisk pace. The design of the Lusail Stadium, the last in line as per FIFA’s directives, is expected to be announced soon.
This despite the fact that some of Qatar’s neighbours have connived to hold the country to ransom by imposing a diplomatic and economic blockade on the country, a move triggered by greed, jealously and an unbridled lust for power and hegemony. If anything, it has only further motivated Qatar
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the body tasked with delivering the event to FIFA’s exacting standards, has assured football fans that it is steaming ahead with its preparations to deliver an outstanding World Cup that will leave behind an outstanding legacy for generations to cherish.
“Our aim from the start was to make sure we are fiscally responsible. We were clear about our budget and determined not to exceed it. We were conscious of that (changing economic scenarios). We were less focused on grandeur and more on the efficient delivery of what we had promised and therefore we feel very comfortable with our budget.” and keep reducing our expenses as much as possible,” Supreme Committee secretary-general Hassan al-Thawadi had told journalists on the fifth anniversary of Qatar winning the bid.
Al-Thawadi added the five years “were used to build the foundations for the World Cup. The next five years we would be working to enhance those foundations day by day.”
“Our vision, our legacy continues to develop. The World Cup will go down in history as an outstanding one.”
The blockade was designed to pressure Qatar into compromising on its independent foreign policies which Saudi Arabia and its allies the UAR, Bahrain and Egypt view as a threat to their dominance in regional affairs.
Qatar’s only land border and its air and sea routes have been cut off, but World Cup organisers were quick to source alternative sources of materials to complete the eight venues that will host the tournament.
Al-Thawadi told the Associated Press that the blockade posed “no risk” to the football tournament in 2022.
“We have come under criticism and attack over the years, but we have always faced our critics. “Our projects are going ahead as scheduled. This (blockade) is no risk in relation to the hosting of the World Cup. Every project has contingency plans, and we have had contingency plans in place from the very start,” al-Thawadi said in an interview during a visit to London to attend an exhibition by the Doha-based Aspire sports academy. “Once the blockade came into play we contacted the main contractors; we put in place alternative supply chains, we sourced alternative materials from alternate suppliers. I’m very happy to say that our project scale is on time and there is no significant impact on our projects.”
In another interview with Al Jazeera, al-Thawadi called the World Cup “the perfect tool to genuinely fight and stop the supply of terrorists” to armed groups. “The World Cup is the quintessential opportunity, the quintessential platform for the region,” he told Talk To Al Jazeera, the Doha-based network’s flagship interview programme.
“The World Cup has the ability to be an economic engine, or at least contribute to an economic engine through a sports-integrated economy. It has the opportunity to support the skills development and … human capacity development for the youth of the region,” he said. The fact that Qatar 2022 will be the first World Cup in the Middle East and the Arab World will allow the region “to showcase itself to the outside world; showcase our richness in culture, our richness in heritage, our sense of humour”, added al-Thawadi.
“A lot of people are actually not aware that we have a fantastic sense of humour  ... In a time of divisiveness ... we need every opportunity to celebrate our differences and promote our common humanity.”
Al-Thawadi defended Qatar’s spending on stadiums, saying they will be put to good use once the event was over.

Qatar hosting 2022 WC pride for Arabs: Benzema Kuwait City: Real Madrid
striker Karim Benzema has said that Qatar hosting the 2022 World Cup will be a matter of pride for the Arabs. The Frenchman was speaking during his visit to Kuwait. “The 2022 World Cup will be a great honour for Arab countries. I can’t wait to see how good it will be organised,” he said. 
Benzema added the close proximity of the stadiums in Qatar would help the fans to attend the more number of World Cup matches.
He expressed admiration for Qatar’s potential in the field of sports, pointing out that he had visited Doha and participated in a friendly match for Real Madrid against Paris Saint-Germain few years back.
Benzema, who scored a goal in Real Madrid’s Champions League win over Liverpool in the final, has been left out of the France squad for the World Cup, which will begin in Russian from June 14.

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