The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 features prominently in a new exhibition launched this week at the Institute of the Arab World in Paris.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the body tasked with overseeing the infrastructure and legacy for Qatar 2022, has donated stadium models for the exhibition, which is titled ‘Football and the Arab World: The Revolution of the Round Ball’.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, was the guest of the honour at the exhibition, which was also attended by Prince Ali bin Ali al-Hussein, and Sheikh Ali bin Jassem al-Thani, Qatar’s ambassador to France. SC secretary-general Hassan al-Thawadi also attended the opening and signed a partnership in support of the exhibition with Jack Lang, President of the Institute of the Arab World.
Al-Thawadi said the SC was proud to showcase its plans for Qatar 2022 at the institute, which is located near Notre Dame Cathedral.
“We’re pleased to be part of this enthralling exhibition which highlights the Arab world’s passion for the beautiful game,” said al-Thawadi. “Events such as this help to illustrate the power of football and how sport can bring people, countries and regions together. We’re thrilled to have the chance to show how preparations are coming along for the first World Cup in the Arab world and proud to contribute towards this showcase of our region’s football history.”
The exhibition features 11 segments, including one devoted to Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup. The Qatari segment features all eight stadium models, along with two videos which highlight the recent infrastructure progress. In addition, the Qatar Football Association has donated various memorabilia following Qatar’s victory in the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year.
Other highlights of the exhibition include a segment devoted to Larbi Benbarek, who was one of the first players of Arab origin to be successful in Europe. The story of France-based players who joined the Algerian independence movement is also documented, while there are specific features on football in Palestine, the women’s game in Jordan and the passion for football in Cairo. There are also segments on Paris Saint-Germain and the best XI in Arab football history. (SC.qa)
SC secretary-general Hassan al-Thawadi (left) speaks to Prince Ali bin Ali al-Hussein (second from left) of Jordan, Institute of the Arab World president Jack Lang (centre) and French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian (right) during the ‘Football and the Arab World: The Revolution of the Round Ball’ exhibition in Paris.