The Qatar 2022 Bid Committee announced today the appointment of an entire team of legendary Qatari footballers as its latest 2022 bid ambassadors. The Under-20 Qatar national team of 1981, that famously secured victories against Brazil and England to reach the final of the 1981 Under-20 World Cup in Australia, has joined world-famous football players including Gabriel Omar Batistuta, Ronald De Boer and Sami Al Jaber in endorsing Qatar’s historic bid for a first-ever World Cup in the Middle East.
Hassan Abdulla Al Thawadi, CEO of the Qatar 2022 Bid Committee, said: “The Under-20 team of 1981 achieved astounding results against some of the best nations in the world and, in so doing, became a role model for an entire generation of Qatari football players. This is what our Bid wants to achieve for children all across the entire Middle East in 2022, giving sporting hope to millions. Our new ambassadors will be a great addition to the Bid and our plans to bring the World Cup to Qatar and the Middle East region for the very first time.”
The appointment of the Qatari football heroes – the first home country ambassadors to be appointed and following renowned Saudi striker Sami Al Jaber, Argentinean legend Gabriel Omar Batistuta and Dutch football star Ronald De Boer – has been planned on purpose to coincide with the country’s celebration of its National Day.
Al Thawadi said: "We've timed the launch of our national ambassadors for our Bid to support this illustrious occasion, choosing an elite group of Qatari sportsmen who will join hands with the committee to achieve our objectives."
Al Thawadi added: “We are a nation that is passionate for football, in a region that is dreaming of hosting the greatest football celebration in the world for the first time ever. The success of this team of Qatari football players in 1981 in reaching the final of a FIFA competition shows that we have always placed a great deal of emphasis on youth development and that we believe this is the ideal way to transform the amazing passion for football in this region and to make a difference through the power of sports.” Al Thawadi pointed to youth developments such as Aspire Academy as demonstrations of how Qatar is fully committed to making a difference for young football players from Qatar and across the Middle East and Asia. “We support young football players from all over the world,” he said. “A World Cup in Qatar would have the effect of opening an entirely new region to the FIFA family in 2022. These Qatari football players, who enjoy a great deal of respect in our society and beyond, are ideally placed to convey this message to Qatari and Middle Eastern football fans.”