Qatar has presented an outstanding model in hosting FIFA World Cup by demonstrating the ability of the Gulf region and Arab countries to host major sporting events.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has also set new benchmarks for future events, according to a panel of GCC journalists speaking yesterday at a discussion on the impact of Qatar hosting the World Cup.
“Today we are living the moment after a historic achievement. By hosting FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 we have shown the ability of Gulf and Arab countries to the world,” said President of Gulf Sports Organisation Salim Al Habsi addressing regional and international journalists at the Host Country Media Centre in Msheireb Downtown Doha.
He said that the first World Cup in the Arab world and Middle East offers a unique opportunity to celebrate football and for fans to get to know people from different walks of life in a true celebration of humanity.
“The last 12 years we had a dream and now it has become a reality,” said Al Habsi adding that throughout the years and during the World Cup Qatar has showcased resourcefulness and resilience and set new benchmarks.
Al Habsi emphasized that over the past years media personnel in the region has shown their support to Qatar, adding that “as sports media personnel in the Gulf, we were certain that Qatar would keep pace with this event and present it in an exceptional way.”
He said that all arrangements were made smoothly for journalists from accreditation to covering the major sporting event.
The panelist focused on several areas including, benefits gained by Gulf media from the World Cup in Qatar; extend of Gulf media coverage of all kinds keeping pace with the global event witnessed by the region; the impact of the global media presence in Qatar on the gulf media; and media reflections of the World Cup on the upcoming events that the Gulf countries will witness.
The discussion also featured Vice-President of the International Federation of Sports Press and Editor-in-Chief of the Qatari Lusail newspaper, Mohamed Hajji; Head of Riyad TV, Ghanem Al Qahtani; Qatari historian and writer, Sultan Al Jassim; and Commentator and Journalist at beIN TV, Abdul Karim Al Shamali.
“We have dispelled all doubts on Qatar’s capability of hosting a useful World Cup,” said Mohamed Hajji, adding that Qatar has responded to all criticism through action by hosting a successful tournament.
He said that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has offered fans an exceptional experience beyond games by offering different entertainment opportunities.
“The country has turned into a festival atmosphere,” he said.
The speakers also empasised that since being awarded the rights to host the FIFA World Cup, Qatar has delivered on major infrastructure projects and presented the fans with iconic stadiums, advanced technology, exceptional fan experience, and all facilities including an efficient transport system.
“We have made strides,” said Ghanem Al Qahtani, adding that Qatar has mastered in organizing the World Cup.
He also highlighted that international media present in the country have gained firsthand experience about the country.
“This World Cup has brought pride to the Arab World,” said Al Qahtani.