Qatar Fulfilled its Promises, Fully Ready for World Cup, Says Gianni Infantino

Qatar Fulfilled its Promises, Fully Ready for World Cup, Says Gianni Infantino By A Robin - October 18, 2022
FIFA President Gianni Infantino

FIFA President Gianni Infantino

FIFA President Gianni Infantino stressed that the State of Qatar will provide the best ever edition of the World Cup after fulfilling all its organizational promises, stressing Qatar's readiness to welcome the world in almost 30 days during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

This came during a press conference held Monday on the occasion of the approaching of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, in the presence of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Chief Operating Officer Colin Smith, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al Khater, and the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Director General Eng. Yasir Al Jamal.

During a videotaped at the beginning of the conference, the FIFA President said that Qatar fulfilled all its promises by preparing facilities, stadiums, and infrastructure long before the start of the World Cup. He considered that what has been achieved is amazing and enough to provide a successful tournament on all levels. He pointed out that a great FIFA World Cup is not only about competition but extends to the after-tournament legacy and the many memories of the unique experience that will be lived by all the parts of the football system, especially fans.

Infantino praised the reforms made by the State of Qatar regarding workers' rights, describing them as groundbreaking after changing the lives of thousands of workers for the better. He described the World Cup as unique on all levels, especially on the compactness of the World Cup, which will provide the fans with a unique experience of attending different matches in a single day, as well as experiencing the Arabic culture, as it is the first time in history the World Cup is held in the Arab region. He pointed out that players will be at the peak of their performance as they will not have to travel for long journeys during the tournament that takes place during winter for the first time.

He said that everyone would be welcomed to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, regardless of their origin, background, or race, at a time of increasing tension around the world despite the successful handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The FIFA President indicated that ticket sales are approaching three million, and these fans will find the perfect hospitality program that provides them with different packages that suit their needs. He pointed out that this World Cup edition will receive massive media coverage after granting 12,300 press accreditations, adding that media representatives will be provided with all possible means to carry out their work, especially regarding their accommodation and other things.

Infantino concluded his statement by stressing that FIFA and the State of Qatar have worked together for many years to present the best World Cup edition ever, pointing out the global enthusiasm waiting for the start of the World Cup.

For his part, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Chief Operating Officer Colin Smith gave a detailed presentation for the latest preparations concerning the operational procedures for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. He pointed out that there are 168 official sites representing the World Cup operational mechanism. These sites include the facilities; fan zones; volunteers, accreditation, and Hayya Cards centers; presentation studios; and other sites.

Smith indicated that the ticket sales are approaching three million, as FIFA President pointed out, but the exact number so far is 2.89 million tickets. He noted that the top ten countries in terms of ticket sales include Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the USA, France, Brazil, and Germany. He pointed out that fans who purchased tickets will receive e-mails to obtain a digital card as one of the direct sales centers has been prepared for the last-minute ticket sales, which will be at Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC), where fans can purchase physical tickets.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Chief Operating Officer praised the hospitality program, describing it as the most successful in the history of World Cup after 240,000 packages were sold, where 63% for international sales while 37% for local sales.

Regarding the accreditation for those who wish to operate during the World Cup, Smith explained that they received 188 registrations where 63% of them are completed. He pointed out that there are 11 accreditation facilities spread across the venues including the DECC for receiving the printed accreditation.

He stressed that the teams will start their arrival in Qatar starting Nov. 7, where Japan will be the first arrival. He pointed out that all 32 teams will be located in top-class facilities in base camps, where 24 teams stay within a 10km radius of each other. He pointed out that the teams' base camps were branded and decorated with the colors and the identities of each team, as well as securing the training sites and providing a referee base camp Smith described the pitches of the eights World Cup stadium as state of the art as each pitch has the most advanced technologies whether hybrid stitching or sub-air systems to control the climate, where over 7000 groundkeepers will handle everything related to the pitches during the World Cup.

In his response to Qatar News Agency's (QNA) question regarding the mechanism of the virtual stadium that the reporters will experience while covering World Cup matches, he said that the virtual stadium will be provided for reporters who couldn't obtain accreditation for press platform entry ticket in the stadiums - in light of the immense number of reporters who registered for accreditation - as around 12,300 reporters obtained their media accreditation. Thus, the virtual stadium will provide the best solution for those reporters to cover the matches perfectly.

The CEO of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Nasser Al Khater, stressed during the press conference that the World Cup Organizing Committee had accomplished a lot of work since the announcement of the submission of the file 12 years ago until a month before the start of the World Cup.

Al Khater revealed the plan prepared by the committee for media coverage of this historic event, stressing that 12,300 journalists in various media outlets were officially accredited to cover the events of the tournament, along with others through the "Qatar Media Portal" for non-accredited by the International Football Association (FIFA), their number is more than 70,000, indicating that the main media center will be located in the Education City at Qatar National Convention Center.

He pointed out that the main center will have a 'virtual stadium' to allow journalists who do not have a ticket to attend the tournament matches to watch them from inside this stadium, which will provide a distinct and unique experience, as the virtual stadium will provide a realistic experience that represents a simulation of reality.

He pointed out that 78 channels have obtained the rights to broadcast the tournament, in addition to seven centers that will be allocated to broadcasting studios for the World Cup, and more than 95 percent of them have been reserved.

Al Khater stressed that the State of Qatar has made efforts to help media that do not have FIFA permits, and their main center will be in Musheireb area, along with two other centers in Corniche and Souq Waqif, to facilitate their work during the tournament.

He said that the volunteers are a source of pride for the organizing committee of the tournament, in which nearly 420,000 volunteers presented themselves, only 20,000 of them were chosen to help organize and welcome the fans, 89% of the volunteers reside inside Qatar, 11% are from outside the country, and 85% of the volunteers have been trained and the rest will be trained in the coming weeks.

Al Khater then gave an explanation about the activities of the fan zones around the stadiums and in other major areas and announced a variety of entertainment activities that will be held across the country to welcome visitors during the tournament, including the FIFA Fan Festival, which will be available free of charge and receive more than 40,000 fans per day during the tournament period, and it will also include giant screens showing the live broadcast of the World Cup matches.

He added that the festival site in Al-Bidaa Park in Doha is scheduled to host a group of international artists, and will also include many football-related activities, and will also provide the public with a wide range of local and international food and beverage options.

He explained that in addition to the entertainment activities hosted by Doha Corniche, which extends 6 km from the Sheraton Hotel Park to the Museum of Islamic Art, the Corniche area will witness roaming art shows, in addition to allocating shops and shops selling various types of food and beverages, in addition to other activities that include daily shows within 'Welcome to Qatar' program.

To conclude his speech at the press conference, Al Khater indicated that fans will be able to enjoy various games and activities on Al Maha Island in Lusail City, as well as the 974 Beach Club in Ras Bu Aboud, and the Hayya Fan Zone on the Lusail South Promenade, and Qetaifan Beach Festival, as well as concerts scheduled within the Arcadia Spectacular, which has a capacity of 15,000 people, and ARAVIA by MDLBEAST, which can accommodate more than 5,000 people, stressing that fans who attend the World Cup matches will also have the opportunity to enjoy cultural, artistic and entertainment shows in the vicinity of each stadium, with more than 6,000 shows in 21 locations. 

For his part, the Director General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy Eng. Yasir Al Jamal expressed during the press conference his happiness with the high ticket sales figures for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which reached about 2.890.000m tickets, and his aspiration to welcome football fans from all over the world to the global football event as the starting whistle approaches on Nov. 20, when Al-Bayt Stadium hosts the opening ceremony of the 22nd edition and the confrontation between the Qatari national team and its Ecuadorian counterpart.

Eng. Al Jamal expressed pleasure with the results of ticket sales and the registered numbers, explaining that Qatar is ready to receive the world and everything is ready, saying the finishing touches are being put, clarifying that the World Cup will undoubtedly put its distinctive imprint, and will leave a tangible impact in Qatar, the Arab world and the region.

He continued that Qatar has intensified its preparations in all respects, and the features of the World Cup have become in all areas and streets of Doha, and everyone is ready, and all sites have been tested, airports, public transport, and the metro, Doha International Airport will use private jets, in order to ease the pressure on Hamad Airport. It was also announced that Abu Samra border crossing will receive more than 4.000 people every hour.

SC's Director General pointed out that there is an increasing demand for accommodation requests, especially during the group stage of the tournament, where about 2m applications were received through the official accommodation platform, in addition to the announcement of the availability of 30.000 rooms on this platform, in parallel with the sale of last-minute tickets, fans can take advantage of floating hotels and other accommodation options, and the percentage of those who received tickets for the matches reached 75% of those who applied for a card, whether citizens, residents or those coming from outside Qatar.

Al Jamal confirmed that the SC will open an international consular services center with 90 employees from 45 countries until Dec. 21 in order to answer inquiries, a unique service in the World Cup that facilitates the movement of fans and visitors to the World Cup.

Commenting on the Hayya card, he emphasized registration of high numbers over the past months, with the number of applications reaching about 2.300.000m, and this card provides access to stadiums and is the perfect option to get a unique experience for fans, affirming that the Hayya card is a Qatari local idea and has become global by allowing its owners to enter many countries.

The Hayya card allows fans to enter the stadiums of the championship, with a match ticket, enter the State of Qatar, for fans coming from outside the country, use public transport free of charge on match days, and plan their movements through "Hayya" application, and starting from Nov.1 this card will be the only option to enter Qatar.

Al Jamal concluded his statements at the press conference by stressing that transport buses will be the alternative option for stadiums that are not fully reached by the Metro, namely the stadiums of Al-Thumama, Al Janoub and Al-Bayt Stadium, reiterating that the process of transferring fans to the three stadiums has all been tested during many previous tournaments and proved to be effective and served the purpose optimally.


By A Robin - October 18, 2022

Leave a comment