Diplomatic, consular and representative missions of Qatar abroad organised various sporting events on the occasion of National Sport Day, which witnessed great participation and interest.
In Madrid, the Qatar embassy organised a ceremony to celebrate National Sport Day and Qatar’s AFC Asian Cup win. The event was attended by more than 150 politicians, diplomats, sports stars, celebrities, as well as a large group of journalists from the most important Spanish newspapers.
Qatar’s ambassador to Spain Mohamed Jaham al-Kuwari opened the ceremony with a speech highlighting the importance of sports in the past and focusing also on the present achievements, which culminated recently in winning the Asian Cup. He said the country’s Sport Day is a symbol of Qatar’s commitment to promoting sports.
Al-Kuwari stressed the importance of the 2022 FIFA World Cup not only for Qatar but also for the entire Arab world as it will put the region at the centre of global attention and act as an ideal platform for introducing Qatar and the culture and hospitality of the Arab countries. He also highlighted the importance of sports in spreading a culture of tolerance and respect among people around the world.
The ambassador pointed out that the construction of World Cup stadiums was taking place at a very high pace, highlighting that Qatar’s win was not born out of chance but rather due to the hard work of all Qatari institutions. He added that this was evident in the establishment of Aspire Academy for the development of young athletes.
World Tourism Organisation (WTO) secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili also attended the event along with representatives from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Sports, in addition to Arab and South American ambassadors. On his part, Pololikashvili said the World Cup in Qatar will be a unique event in the history of football, as it will be the first edition of the event where supporters can attend three matches a day.
The embassy presented a book during the event on the history of Real Madrid. Guests were also briefed on the details of the design of the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums and the ongoing preparations for the tournament. The ceremony was attended by the architect responsible for the design of three World Cup stadiums, Mark Fenwick.
The embassy, in co-operation with AS Arabia newspaper, issued a booklet in Spanish that reviews the achievements of Qatar in sports and the World Cup stadiums. It also addresses the role played by Aspire Academy in training the champions of Asia. Some 400 copies of the booklet were issued and distributed to the audience during the ceremony.
The event was also attended by representatives of the most important Spanish newspapers, such as the editor of AS Alfredo Relanio, assistant director of Marca Eduardo Garcia, and the CEO of Prisa Juan Luis Thibrian, in addition to journalists from Channel 3, Radio France and Real Madrid TV. AS wrote five articles on the event, while Marca wrote an article discussing Qatar’s victory in the Asian Cup and its preparations for the 2022 World Cup. In Barcelona, Qatar’s consulate general organised various sporting activities at the Camp Nou Stadium on the occasion of Sport Day, with the participation of consul general Issa bin Jaber al-Kuwari.
At the UN
Meanwhile, in New York, the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations (UN) hosted a reception on the occasion of National Sport Day and Qatar’s 2019 Asian Cup victory. The reception was held at the UN headquarters in New York.
HE Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations ambassador Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif al-Thani said Qatar is one of the few countries that has dedicated a day to sports, pointing to the symbolic importance of the country’s Sport Day in terms of team-building and community participation along the dominance of the spirit of fitness and attention to physical health.
She said Sport Day is one of the most important national holidays, which brings together all social segments of Qataris and non-Qataris. She also expressed Qatar’s deep belief that the world is a better place where countries and peoples converge through sports to achieve progress and prosperity.
HE Sheikha Alya also noted that the country’s Sport Day coincides with the win in the 2019 Asian Cup, which she described as “the historic victory of our team, our people, our country and the Arab world”. She explained that this remarkable achievement was not a coincidence, but was the result of the vision of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and his brother His Highness Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, Personal Representative of the Amir. Both have worked hard over the past years to develop sports in Qatar and build infrastructure through the establishment of Aspire Academy, she added.
HE Sheikha Alya praised the academy and highlighted its mission, which provides a vibrant learning environment and an experience of intercultural interaction to develop athletes’ abilities through education and personal training using modern technology.
She pointed out that some of the Qatar team members who won the Asian Cup are graduates of Aspire Academy, noting that this work “will put us on the path of enthusiasm towards the World Cup in 2022”.
In the presence of Japan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Koro Bessho, HE Sheikha Alya praised Japan and the wonderful relations between the two countries. She also lauded the Japanese football team that played against Qatar in the Asian Cup final.
The reception was attended by a several representatives of member states and the diplomatic corps accredited to the United Nations as well as senior officials of the UN. It was also attended by a number of representatives from the Arab community and the media. The ceremony featured videos on sports activities in Qatar and some national songs.
In Brasilia, Qatar’s embassy in Brazil organised an event on the occasion of Sport Day, with the participation of ambassador Ahmed bin Ibrahim al-Abdullah, members of the embassy and administrative staff. The events included many sports activities.
In San Jose, the embassy in Costa Rica held an event in which all members of the embassy participated. The event included a football match.
In Havana, the embassy in Cuba organised an event that was attended by ambassador Rashid Mirza al-Mullah, president of the Cuban Institute of Sport (Sport Minister) Dr Antonio Becali Garrido and a number of Cuban officials, in addition to members of the diplomatic corps. The event included a football match.
In Kathmandu, Qatar’s embassy in Nepal organised an event that was attended by acting charge d’affaires Jassim Saleh Ali al-Jaber, representatives of the diplomatic missions and Qatari institutions in Nepal. The event included football for gyms and aerobic exercises.
In Baku, the embassy in Azerbaijan organised an event that saw the participation of charge d’affaires Khalid bin Mohamed al-Malki, third secretary Abdullah bin Ghanim al-Hudaifi and staff. The activities included football.
In Djibouti, Qatar’s embassy organised activities that were attended by acting charge d’affaires Rashid bin Salem al-Buainain, staff and guests. The activities included walking. In Dar es Salaam, the Qatar embassy in Tanzania organised an event that was attended by acting charge d’affaires Abdul Hadi bin Saeed al-Mansouri, official in charge of sports affairs at the National Sports Council and representative of the Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports in Tanzania, and representative of the embassy of Oman Ahmed bin Ali Baheshwan. The activities included football.
In Zagreb, the embassy in Croatia organised an event on the occasion of National Sport Day, which included various activities.
In Pretoria, the Qatar embassy in South Africa organised an event that was attended by ambassador Abdullah Hussein al-Jaber. The programme covered various activities, including football and tug-of-war. In Tirana, the embassy in Albania organised sporting events on the occasion in co-operation with the Tirana Municipality and Qatar Charity in Albania.
Qatar’s ambassador Ali bin Hamad al-Marri, mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj, a number of Albanian officials, ambassadors and representatives of Arab and foreign missions, as well as a number of Albanian businesspersons and journalists participated in the events. The programme included sports activities such as football, basketball and cycling.
In the Hague, the Qatar embassy in the Netherlands held a sports event with the participation of charge d’affaires Ali bin Nasser al-Ahbabi and diplomatic and embassy staff. The programme covered various activities, including walking, running and tennis.
In Bucharest, the Qatar embassy in Romania held an event that saw the participation of the diplomatic and embassy staff. The programme included a football match.
In Panama, the embassy held sporting events and various activities on the occasion. In Montevideo, the embassy in Uruguay organised a sporting event that included a football match. In Belgrade, the embassy in Serbia held sports activities that included competitions in bowling. Ambassador Sheikh Mubarak bin Fahad al-Thani and local staff of the mission participated in the event.
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