Former Egyptian national team captain and Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) Ambassador Wael Gomaa has lauded Qatar’s preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022, which will be held from November 21 to December 18.
Gomaa is part of a group of former Arab football stars who are SC ambassadors to promote the World Cup activities in the region and globally.
“We are all happy that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup, the first time in the Arab region. Every Arab citizen should be proud of this moment,” Gomaa said yesterday during a media roundtable hosted by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.
“Qatar has been preparing for this important event for over ten years. Besides the stadiums, the roads, and logistics, all is perfect for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
“Qatar has shown to the world that it has all the facilities to host a fantastic event, and we have seen their capacity during the FIFA Club World Cups (2019, 20) it has hosted,” he added.
With about 10 months to kickoff, the 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium is due to launch soon. Other stadiums for the World Cup, including Khalifa International Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium, Stadium 974 and Education City Stadium have all seen action.
Meanwhile, fans worldwide have reportedly requested 17 million tickets for the football fiesta.
According to FIFA, fans in Qatar represented the biggest contingent of those to request early-bird tickets, followed closely by Argentina, Mexico, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, England, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and France. Organisers expect around 1.5 million fans to visit Qatar during the tournament.
“When you have clubs like Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Al Ahly participate in tournaments in Doha; it shows Qatar can host a successful event. Also, during the Arab Cup last year, Qatar showed the World Cup would be amazing with how it hosted it. Again for us as Arabs, we have the honour that an Arabic country like Qatar will be organizing the football World Cup,” the Egyptian icon added.
So far, 15 countries, including hosts Qatar, have qualified for the World Cup.
Gomaa who won three African Cup of Nations with the ‘golden generation’ of Egyptian footballers, said participation for the World Cup is the peak of every footballer’s dream.
“Participation in the World Cup is the best dream for all players. However, as ambassadors, we also have another responsibility. Our experience as former players is to convey the image of Qatar worldwide,” he said.
On the Qatar national team, Gomaa stated, “I see that the Qatari team after the Asian Cup experienced a kind of decline in their level, especially the level of motivation and focus. Although the team has great experiences, I hope that the next stage will be better, especially in the World Cup. They have learned from various tournaments, which is supposed to benefit them.”
Qatar has mordenised and inaugurated several infrastructures ahead of the tournament. Top priorities like the Hamad International Airport (HIA), a more extensive metropolitan network, upgraded roadways, bridges, and the Doha Metro have all been inaugurated and operational. A recent report also stated that more than 15,000 new residential units in Qatar are expected to be on the market by the end of 2022.
Source: The Peninsula