By Mudassir Raja
Hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 is a big step not only for Qatar but also for the whole region. The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) is well ahead in the planning of the host country’s operations for the mega football event. The SC is also making rapid progress in building stadiums and other infrastructure, and ensuring the tournament and its preparations contribute to Qatar’s sustainable development.
In its ongoing efforts to showcase Qatar’s unique identity through the tournament and to welcome the world in 2022, the SC recently organised an informative tour for the Spouses of Heads of Missions (SOHOM), a group of international community comprising of the spouses of heads of missions working in Qatar.
The visit was organised by the SC’s International Relations team, as part of its embassy outreach programme. Over 30 members of the group took part in the visit where they were apprised of the ongoing developments and the vision of the SC in relation to the FIFA World Cup 2022.
SOHOM members took the tour of the SC’s Legacy Pavilion at Al Bidda Tower, which includes details of Qatar’s bid journey, the country’s football history, the eight stadiums being developed for the event and details of the tournament legacy programmes, including Generation Amazing, Workers’ Welfare and the Josoor Institute.
Hosting the tournament is already creating a lasting legacy.
The tour was also a step towards the SC’s efforts to forge a better future for Qatar through infrastructure, education, football for development, support for regional innovation and a dedication to improving workers’ welfare.
Coralie Durussel, International Relations Specialist at SC, briefed the visitors about Qatar’s bid journey, the country’s football history, the eight stadiums being developed for the event and the details of tournament legacy programme.
She also briefed the group on Generation Amazing, Workers’ Welfare and the Josoor Institute programmes. A 10-minute documentary on various stages of the developments along with facts and figures was also screened during the tour. Durussel thanked the group for showing great interest in the ongoing developments for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Lilian Muzel, wife of German Ambassador to Qatar Hans-Udo Muzel, led the SOHOM visitors. She is also the vice president of the group.
Sharing her comments with Community, Lilian said: “We had a very interesting tour and discussion, organised by Coralie Durussel, who gave our group an in-depth overview of all the preparations being undertaken by Qatar towards the delivery of the World Cup in 2022. It was a great experience indeed.
“As we are representing the international community in Doha, we are all very eager and keen to learn about the World Cup preparations, as many fans and tourists from our countries will be visiting Qatar on the occasion of this extraordinary sports event. And it is important and reassuring to know that the building workers’ welfare, especially with regard to occupational health and safety on construction sites, is actively dealt with and supported on the highest level by the government, the SC, the industry, with the co-operation of international partners and advisers, most notably the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the ITUC.
A big fan of football herself, Lilian further said: “Football is part of an exciting international sport scene, as the SC’s Secretary-General Hassan al-Thawadi underlines on his promotion tours for the Qatar World Cup, inviting the world’s fans to come to Doha in 2022. Sport brings people of all cultures together and promotes social society initiatives. She sees Qatar as a role model in the region in sport activities. “And also in this respect, Qatar is a role model in the region with a dedicated Women’s Sport Committee, headed by the inspiring President Lolwa al-Marri, sport education for young women and many great athletes like field and track specialist, Mariam Farid, who is Qatar’s National Ambassador for the IAAF International Athletics Championships Doha 2020, or Yasmian al-Sharshani, Qatar’s golf champion.
Germany, and other countries, are proud to support with their dedicated Qatari partners sports and football programmes for the youth and young women in this country.”
Noelia Paolo Romero, wife of the Argentine ambassador, said: “Having seen first-hand all the intensive work the SC is doing, and how all the preparations started in 2010 when Qatar was chosen as the host, with Argentina being one of the first countries strongly supporting it, fills me with joy. The visit allowed me to learn about the efficient work they are doing, and how – unlike in previous World Cups – the infrastructure needed for the event is ahead of the agenda.
“As an Argentinian, I love football with passion. It’s in my veins. When Argentina plays a world cup match, the country simply goes standstill for those two hours of game.
“Having the opportunity to live here during Qatar 2022 will be an experience out of this world for me. I really hope my national team qualifies, because in my opinion, a World Cup without Argentina would be like eating an egg with no salt.”
San Lee, spouse of outgoing ambassador of The Netherlands, said: “We learnt a lot about the history of football in the Middle East and Qatar in particular. It was also very interesting to hear about the bidding process and to see the actual bid book.
“I think it will be a wonderful tournament, especially given the fact that fans can see multiple matches every day. I was also very pleased to see how the local communities get involved in the tournament, and will have influence on what will happen to the stadiums.”
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