With many major international tournaments, including the 2020 Olympics getting postponed, Al Thawadi felt the World Cup's organisers have the luxury of observing and learning from the tournaments that are coming up
DOHA, Sept. 25, 2020: Sporting events have made a return across the globe, but to empty stadiums. Qatar, however, is optimistic that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will mark a return to normalcy; at least as far as spectator numbers in stadiums are concerned.
“We are going to bring people towards celebrating, what I believe, will be the first global event at the tail end of the pandemic. The pandemic has become a unifier — it has unified people and brought them together. At the end of COVID, we need to harness and utilise these platforms and opportunities to [bring] people together and celebrate humanity,” said Hassan al Thawadi, secretary general and chairman of the 2022 World Cup.
“We are confident about making it an accessible and affordable tournament. We are hopeful of achieving similar numbers in attendance as that of the pre-COVID time. We are considering multiple factors, such as the global economy, to ensure the same. We are striving to make a balanced and affordable tournament in such a manner that the prices are affordable for fans and let vendors and airlines sustain [themselves],” he added.
With many major international tournaments, including the 2020 Olympics getting postponed, Al Thawadi felt the World Cup's organisers have the luxury of observing and learning from the tournaments that are coming up.
“I have to say that we are ironically blessed that COVID came two years before the World Cup. The 2020 Olympics got pushed and we don’t know if it will be held and they are still discussing it. The NBA is one of the best sports tournaments out there that has shown how to efficiently use the bubble model and how to sustain it in the COVID world. UEFA also holds the Champions League and various European football leagues are starting. We are observing and learning from these events and have the luxury of two years to learn how to host the world in 2022,” he said.