Doha: The compact nature of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the legacy and sustainability projects associated with the tournament have won the admiration and appreciation of sports media in Spain.
Qatar is hosting the most compact edition in the history of the FIFA World Cup, as the eight World Cup stadiums that host the matches are located an hour’s drive from the centre of Doha, enabling fans to attend more than one match per day.
The Spanish media’s praise also focused on the sustainable heritage projects that will be established as a result of the World Cup in Qatar, which will bring many benefits to societies after the end of the tournament. These projects will have a positive impact on countries in the region and the world for decades to come.
Editor in Chief of Spain’s popular daily Marca, Juan Castro Nogales said that the World Cup in Qatar will be the best-ever for a number of factors. “It will take place in the middle of the season when players are in-form, early completion of preparation which will help ensure the success of the competition,” Nogales said.
“The World Cup is an opportunity for Qatar and the region to announce themselves in the world of sports. Qatar’s success in hosting the World Cup will open the door for the country to host the Olympics in the future,” he added.
Nogales said the possibility of the public attending two or more matches a day will lead to a large fan attendance at the World Cup. “Attending two or three matches in one day is a dream for any fan. And that is possible due to the close proximity of all World Cup stadiums as well as the presence of a wonderful transportation network that serves these stadiums and enables the public to move easily,” Marca’s Editor in Chief noted.
Nogales was not surprised by the strong demand for tickets in the World Cup, which reached more than 23 million ticket requests. “Qatar and FIFA were keen that World Cup tickets would be at a lower price than in previous versions and that encouraged fans to book the tickets,” he added.
He also praised the world-class infrastructure Qatar has built to host the event. “Qatar’s intention to completely dismantle one of the World Cup stadiums and parts of other stadiums and donate them to developing countries after the end of the World Cup is a wonderful idea that deserves praise,” Nogales said.
The editor-in-chief of Marca said he expects France to win the title for the second time in a row, due to the fact that they have many players capable of making the difference, such as Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.
Meanwhile, Gaspar Diez Jimenez, Editor-in-Chief of Sports at Europress Agency, stressed that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be very different, starting with the date of its holding, the technology used during the event, and the good stadiums prepared by Qatar, which are ready to host the event a year before the tournament.
“The World Cup will surprise everyone because Qatar has built stadiums, infrastructure and transportation of highest standard. Qatar had done amazing job by completing all the infrastructure well in advance and this is something new in the world of football,” Jimenez said.
Regarding the organisation of the tournament in the winter for the first time, Jimenez said that at first there was fear of the new date of the tournament in the winter, as well as other concerns about the coronavirus, but these things have now dissipated, so the dates of all international leagues have been modified to suit the World Cup date.
He pointed out to the lifting of travel restrictions because of coronavirus, and the fact that fans in Qatar can attend more than one match in one day, which will lead to an important attendance in all matches, unlike previous tournaments, which matches were separated by tens and sometimes hundreds of kilometres from each other.
He praised the World Cup draw ceremony, which was held in Qatar on April 1, and the great and impressive capabilities that appeared during that ceremony, noting that the Spaniards are now eager to attend and follow the World Cup and hope that the Spanish team will win the title in Qatar.
He explained that the World Cup led to better Qatari-Spanish relations, not only at the sports level, but also at all levels. There are Spanish companies that worked on the World Cup infrastructure, as well as many other steps that indicate the extent of relations between the two countries, foremost of which is the current visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Spain.
He described the idea of Qatar to dismantle Stadium 974 in Ras Abu Abboud area after the end of the World Cup and parts of other stadiums in the tournament and donate them to poor countries as wonderful, pointing out that the previous tournaments, which witnessed the inauguration of huge facilities in a number of countries in the world, these facilities remained after the end of the tournaments without full use, but what Qatar proposed to dismantle some of these facilities is an innovative idea that establishes the principle of the legacy that it has proposed since its success in hosting the tournament.
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