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With regional cooperation that will increase after the economic blockade in Qatar ends, what impact will it have on the 2022 World Cup?
Last week, a three-and-a-half-year economic blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and three of its regional allies came to an end.
The end of the restrictions means that regional diplomatic and economic ties between Qatar and its neighboring countries will be restored. And this development will also have an impact on football, especially in the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar, which will host the first World Cup to be held in the Arab world, has been working hard preparing for the event in earnest. They have already opened four of the eight venues planned for the World Cup, in addition to related infrastructure projects, including subway line extensions and more.
The stadiums feature cutting edge technology like Advanced Cooling Tech and more. It’s safe to say that from what has been seen, the impressive stadiums are ready to offer fans a very memorable World Cup experience.
The rest of the venues are also progressing as scheduled, along with other related projects. The fact that Qatar has accomplished all of this while caught in the middle of a global pandemic speaks volumes for its resilience.
With the added downside of the economic lockdown ended, the Middle Eastern nation will be hopeful to step up its preparations for the 2022 World Cup in earnest.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), the organization responsible for the delivery of the 2022 World Cup, has always maintained that the 2022 World Cup was a tournament that will unite the world, especially in a post-pandemic situation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected lives around the world and major events, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, have been postponed. The 2022 World Cup was to be one of the most important sporting events that would have given them to fans a reason to celebrate in a world that, hopefully, by then would have had access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Secretary General, had said earlier (during a conversation with James Worrall, Leaders CEO and Founder), “It may sound idealistic, but Covid-19 has made us realize that we are all social creatures. Our health Mental, uncertainty, social distancing, the inability to interact with each other, we all miss human interaction. I have always dreamed big and said this is a World Cup to bring people together, and God knows after Covid , we have to get back together. We need to get over this and celebrate collectively during Qatar 2022. “
Al Thawadi had also expressed his hope at the time that the economic blockade imposed on Qatar would soon end, helping them to celebrate the first ever Middle East World Cup in a truly proper way together with their neighbors.
“The support of the people in the region, particularly the blocking countries, is there. People are very excited about the tournament. I hope that the blocking countries will remove travel restrictions. There are no restrictions from Qatar. I hope they will remove them for what is once a unique opportunity for the people of our region. “
Now that the blockade has come to an end, it appears that Al Thawadi’s wish is coming true.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino also claimed after the lockdown ended that football will unite the region. “Football has proven throughout this crisis that it is a unique exchange platform for the people of the Gulf and I am sure that the game will continue to unite the region in the near future,” said the Swiss official.
The cooperation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has already started to manifest itself on the sports arena. As both countries go head-to-head over the rights to host the 2030 Asian Games initially, they have recently decided to make a compromise with Doha as the venue for the 2030 event and Riyadh as the venue for the 2034 edition.
While Qatar continues to build a legacy with its stated goal of ‘Deliver Amazing’ for the 2022 World Cup, the forward-looking cooperation of its neighbors will be a major boost for its World Cup work, with the event less than two miles away. years.