Director of Marketing and Communications at the Local Committee for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Hassan Rabia Al Kuwari said that the Local Committee for the tournament, which Qatar will host from Jan. 12 until Feb. 10, 2024, would soon announce a plan for selling tickets and their issuance mechanism in parallel with the official agreement with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
In special remarks to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Al Kuwari said that the date of issuing the tickets and the method of the sale mechanism would be announced in detail in the coming period, adding that the plan for issuing tickets would be very similar to the plan adopted in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which includes the commitments to the AFC and all partners, and coordination with the 24 participating teams and national federations, as all these data will be taken into account.
Al Kuwari revealed that the Hayya card has special procedures and conditions and is the easiest access to the State of Qatar for residents or those in the GCC states. These details and the possibility of linking them with tournament tickets will be announced at a later time by the concerned authorities.
On including Lusail Stadium to host the opening and final matches of the AFC Asian Cup, Al Kuwari said that Lusail Stadium, which has a capacity of 88,000 seats, has become a global icon after hosting the final match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the impressive success it achieved. The stadium also witnessed the crowning of one of the most prominent football legends, Lionel Messi, along with his team, Argentina. Thus, the Lusail Stadium will be an added value to the Asian Cup.
The upcoming AFC Asian Cup competitions will be held in six other World Cup stadiums, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Education City Stadium, and Khalifa International Stadium. Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium and Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium will also join these stadiums.
In his remarks to QNA, Al Kuwari - who is also the Executive Director of Marketing, Sales and Communication at Qatar Stars League (QSL) - pointed out that there are several positive factors that contributed to achieving an exceptional kickoff for Expo Stars League 2023-2024. He noted that the partnership with International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha left a wide impact, in addition to the public presence in the stands, indicating that the Expo Stars League will be more exciting, given these introductions.
He added that, no doubt, signing a partnership with the organizing committee of the International Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha gave great impetus to the league championship in terms of commercial and media aspects and left a wide influence since the kick-off in the first round, as well as in the second round, and that QSL has been keen to develop an integrated work plan for the new season, in cooperation with all Partners, stakeholders, and club companies.
Al Kuwari revealed that QSL would participate in the inauguration of Expo 2023, which the State of Qatar will hold from Oct. 2023 until March 2024, through a special pavilion that will include the Qatari football family, where they will promote the league tournament in the presence of a host of the most prominent professional players in Qatari clubs, stressing the Expo is expected to draw wide attention.
Al Kuwari said that they are pleased with the high number of attendees which would heavily benefit the league. He credited the clubs' companies for reaching out to the fans and encouraging them to watch the matches, in addition to crediting the holding of the matches in the 2022 World Cup stadiums, which makes the participation more special.
He added that they hope to have a strong season since it includes several impressive contracts, 62 new professional players and the emergence of big names in the first round. Al Kuwari said they support the clubs' initiatives and that these positive aspects will be reflected in the technical part of the matches, which would further develop and elevate the league.
During the past period, the league coordinated with Aspire Zone to provide logistical services for the stadiums to organize the best version of the league. He added that the next three rounds of the league will be held in five 2022 World Cup stadiums. The matches will then be held in the clubs' stadiums since the World Cup stadiums will be prepared to host the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and the 2024 AFC U-23 Finals.
Al Kuwari noted that the league will witness a 6-week hiatus, starting at the end of December until mid-February 2024 due to the AFC Asian Cup, and therefore the tournaments will be held at the clubs' stadiums.
Plans to develop the league started last season through agreements with the clubs' companies and the standards and procedures associated, in addition to the Central Scouting Team (CST) which worked with the clubs' companies to raise the level of contracts. Al Kuwari said that the market value of the league rises by upgrading the technical level and improving the quality of the professional players.
He wishes to see before the end of the transferring period several stars in the clubs who have not yet completed their contracts.