FIFA president Gianni Infantino has praised Qatar’s readiness for the FIFA World Cup 2022, saying the country’s level of preparedness is “unparalleled” in the history of the tournament.
“I am very happy with what I have seen during the Club World Cup so far and with the stage of the preparations for 2022,” Infantino said in Doha where he is attending the FIFA Club World Cup.
“The Club World Cup is an important test for a few of the elements that will be place at the World Cup, but the truth is that the level of readiness is there for all to see.
“I have been organising big football tournaments for 20 years and I must say that the state of advancement of the works in Qatar is unparalleled — I have never seen a host country in the position to deliver every single infrastructure work two years prior to the event, which is what Qatar is on track to doing.”
Infantino also added that the 2022 tournament would be ‘fantastic’.
“I am sure that it will be a fantastic event and I believe that a World Cup in Qatar, in the Middle East, will have the ability to change the perception of the rest of the world towards the region.”
The global football chief said he was keen to discuss and debate the various issues facing football.
“The one thing I know is that I have been speaking to many people, representing many different interests, and no one seems to be really happy with the way things are right now: with the system, the match calendar.
“People complain about how national leagues tend to be predictable, how most of the national team games are not interesting enough, how there are too many games being played. If we want to reach a solution to any of this, we must discuss. We must debate. And I feel that, as FIFA president, it is my role to foster such debate.
“The fact is that football is changing: until 50 years ago, it was strictly national; then came the continental component, which only grew stronger; now clubs are global forces, with interests around the world. Today, we have 10 or 12 clubs from five European countries that are at a certain level, and the rest of the whole world is far, far behind.
“My vision is that we should have, say, 50 clubs from all continents that are more or less at the same level; that people from all continents can truly relate to the way they do to these few European clubs today. If we want to develop football around the whole world — and this is FIFA’s mission — we must think about this.”