Former England captain David Beckham has praised the legacy projects being delivered by Qatar prior to the countrys hosting of the FIFA World Cup later this year.
Beckham was recently the special guest at the Qatar Community World Cup semi-finals. The tournament is organized by the Qatar Community Football League (QCFL), which was founded in 2016 by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy the organization responsible for developing the infrastructure and legacy projects for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Beckham, who appeared and scored in three FIFA World Cups, said: "Theres no bigger sporting competition than the World Cup. It changes countries and it changes peoples lives. When we talk about legacy, this is real evidence of it. Even before the World Cup has begun, this is evidence of the incredible work the Supreme Committee has done. This is why the World Cup has been brought here to improve the game and build a legacy. Legacy is the most important thing." Beckham, who won honors with Manchester United, Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and Paris Saint-Germain during a glittering career, said the QCFL reminded him of playing Sunday league amateur matches in England when he was growing up. Over the past six years, the number of teams competing in the QCFL has grown to 86. There are four divisions, in addition to boys and girls leagues. Since 2019, matches have been held at the training pitches adjacent to Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, one of eight tournament venues for Qatar 2022.
"What I love about the QCFL is that theyre playing like that. Theres fair play theyre getting on with it. And thats what it should be like," Beckham said.
Beckham went on to say fans from across the globe will witness Qatars passion for football when the country hosts the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup and the first in the Middle East and Arab world from Nov. 21 to Dec. 18.
"There is a rich history here and a love of the game, and that will be very evident when the tournament starts at the end of the year. People will see a football culture that has been here for a long time. And once the tournament finishes, the legacy will be there for everyone to see," he said.
He added that hosting the World Cup will also prove a golden opportunity to inspire the next generation.
"When countries are given the chance to host a competition as big as this, its great while the competition is going on. But when it ends, whats more important is leaving a legacy. When people ask me what a World Cup does for a country, I say it inspires the next generation. Its great to host the World Cup but its more important what happens after," he said.