Qatar pledges to offer ‘affordable’ World Cup 2022 despite post-pandemic downturn

  • 7 days   ago
Hassan Al Thawadi
The Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, Hassan Al Thawadi in a live streaming on Leaders in Sport Wednesday said that the World Cup organisers in Qatar are optimistic the pandemic will be beaten and promised an ‘affordable’ experience for fans despite fears of post-pandemic global recession.
As many countries around the world are expected to suffer historically deep recessions as a result of the virus and due to associated lockdown restrictions several sporting events have already been postponed. Even the Summer Olympic Games in Japan and football's European Championship that was due to start next month has been moved until 2021.
“There are significant implications for employment, livelihoods, and the problem we have today is, what is recovery going to look like? It's all right now unclear. We are entering into a recession, and there is no doubt there is a concern about the global economy and the ability of fans to afford travel and afford coming and celebrating the World Cup,” Thawadi said.
“We demonstrated that during the Club World Cup when we engaged with fans from all the different clubs, that the whole travel experience was affordable in terms of flights, in terms of accommodation,” al-Thawadi commented on the Leaders in Sport live stream.
But despite the global concerns of a post pandemic recession, Al Thawadi commented, “We are still committed to ensuring that we create a balance between an affordable World Cup ... and a price range that is affordable for fans and a price range that is workable, functional for the industry, for service providers, for the supply chain that is responsible for delivering the World Cup.”
“By 2022, I am optimistic that we would overcome this pandemic as a human race collectively. It will be one of the early opportunities for all of us to celebrate together, to engage together, to bring people together,” al-Thawadi added.
The World Cup is scheduled to be played in November-December 2022 rather than its usual June-July slot, which provides more time for the resumption of international travel. Qatar is hopeful that six of its eight stadiums will be completed by the end of this year despite the COVID-19 disruption.