The ‘World of Football’ exhibition at the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum highlights several milestones from previous editions of the World Cup and features some of the major attractions of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The details and highlights of the exhibition were disclosed Sunday at a press briefing at the museum attended by director Abdulla al-Mulla, acting head of exhibitions Aalia Khalid al-Khater, main sponsor ExxonMobil Qatar's vice president and government affairs director Saleh al-Mana, and sports heritage consultant and exhibition curator Andrew Pearce.

Exhibits including Diego Maradona's boots (left).

The exhibition which runs until April 1, 2023 features some special items from the football world over the years. They include a football used in the finals of the first World Cup tournament in 1930; the first written account of the rules of football, determining how the sport is played; Pele’s Santos shirt from 1973, the year he came to play in Doha; and jerseys worn by some of the sport’s all-time greats.
Among the exhibition highlights is the jersey worn by Argentine great, Diego Maradona described by many players as ‘the greatest player of all time’ when he scored twice to give Argentina a 2-1 lead against England in the quarter finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. The jersey is on loan to the exhibition after being sold at auction in May 2022, when it became the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever purchased.

Scarves of participating teams in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 seen displayed in the museum. PICTURES: Thajudheen.

The president of 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulla al-Thani, said: “Our exhibition will provide a unique experience for visitors of all ages and backgrounds and will not be only limited to football fans. It will also showcase how inclusivity in any sport plays a pivotal role in bringing people together and bridging gaps.”
The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the beginnings and history of football and the origins of the FIFA World Cup, underscoring the sport’s ability to transcend borders and cultures and bring people together. The exhibition opens as part of Qatar Creates, the year-round national cultural movement that curates, promotes, and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in Qatar.
Al-Mulla said: “Football is the most followed sport globally, and this exhibition will give visitors the opportunity to learn how sports, especially football, play a pivotal role in bringing people from diverse backgrounds together. In addition, World of Football will illustrate how the sport has a very special significance in Qatar, and how impactful it is for Qatar to host the World Cup, both locally and throughout the region.”
Al-Khater noted that it was the most fitting time to hold such an exhibition. “This is our first exhibition in the museum and it is quite satisfying that we hold an exhibition within such a short span of time since its opening. It is a fitting time to host such an exhibition as we are hosting the World Cup next month. We have had the amazing opportunity to partner and work with many international museums and make this exhibition happen.”
The objects, films, and images featured in the exhibition come from a variety of local and international organisations as well as loans from private collectors. Alongside items from 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum’s own football collection, significant items from major international partner museums including the National Football Museum in the UK, the FIFA Museum, and the the Musée du Sport in France demonstrate the global influence of the game.
Al-Mana said ExxonMobil is excited to grow its strong and unique relationship with Qatar Museums as the main sponsor of the World of Football, ahead of the FIFA World Cup, one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world.
"We are delighted and proud to be playing our part as an active community member by joining local efforts to ensure its success through partnerships such as this one that supports important activities,” he explained.
Curator Pearce pointed out that the exhibition tells a story that even started before the first World Cup in 1930. "It tells when in 1860s when the first laws of football were written. We are very privileged to have one of the those manuscripts.”
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