British Minister extends support to Qatar ahead of 2022 World Cup

British Minister extends support to Qatar ahead of 2022 World Cup
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Published November 10th, 2016 - 16:15 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar logo
The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar logo

The close economic ties between Qatar and the UK were highlighted yesterday at the Sport is Great Conference by the UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Greg Hands, who extended Britain’s support to Qatar ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar.

Run by the UK Department for International Trade in conjunction with the British embassy in Doha, the event sought to promote further collaboration between the two nations’ sports industries.

Dignitaries in attendance included the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) secretary general Hassan al-Thawadi, Qatar Olympic Committee secretary general Dr Thani al-Kuwari and Hands, Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham, and UK Secretary of State for International Trade.

Speaking at the event, al-Thawadi endorsed the strong relationships UK companies have developed with the SC, noting the integral part UK business will play in preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. The SC has this year appointed Impactt Ltd as an independent third party workers’ welfare monitor.

Al-Thawadi noted the lengthy history of sports hosting expertise the UK has to offer, referencing England’s Premier League, Wimbledon and Royal Ascot. “Relations between Qatar and the UK have grown ever stronger over our two countries’ rich histories,” he said. “In the field of sports in particular, which is integral to both nations’ societies, our cooperation is creating a lasting, positive impact.”

He also explained his hopes of replicating the remarkable social effects of the London Olympic Games. “Prior to the Olympics, media was critical of the organisers and locals voiced their concerns over the potential disruption the event would cause to their daily lives. Afterwards, however, Londoners were overjoyed at the success of the event, both economically and in showcasing the diversity and friendliness of their great city to the world.

“At a time when forces are attempting to drive a wedge between people and to highlight their differences, I believe the 2022 FIFA World Cup can act as a similar platform to promote cultural understanding and showcase the true wonder of Qatari and Middle Eastern culture.”

Hands opened the event by discussing his memories of Britain’s greatest on- and off-field sporting achievements. He noted that UK businesses have played a key role in every major sporting event since the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, and said that the UK was looking to support Qatar ahead of 2022.

“I have no doubt that the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar will offer similar benefits to Qatar, in line with the 2030 Qatar National Vision,” Hands continued. “British businesses are well-placed to support Qatar in both its preparations for the tournament and in delivering a sustainable legacy. A significant proportion of the 600 British businesses operating in Qatar are already supporting your World Cup preparations and I hope our nation continues to share its wealth of expertise in sport."

© Gulf Times Newspaper 2016

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