Qatar 2022 World Cup organisers focused as critics continue to aim blows

Qatar 2022 World Cup organisers focused as critics continue to aim blows
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Published January 30th, 2015 - 06:36 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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2022 World Cup logo

The organisers of the Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup have shrugged off their detractors and insisted: “We are here for the long haul.”

Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, has faced a barrage of questions over the legitimacy of Qatar’s winning bid ever since they were named as hosts in 2010.

Only this week, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) made a call to re-run the vote after it adopted a report that claimed the original process was “radically flawed” due to bribery and corruption.

But last week, a select group of media from the Gulf region was invited to Doha to attend the launch of a new award. But the talk was very much businesslike.

There is nothing to worry about, Al Thawadi assured, adding that Qatar is on track to showcase the biggest and grandest sports spectacle in seven years’ time.

“We are well on track. We are here for the long haul,” he said in response to a query from Gulf News. “There are seven years or more still to go for the World Cup and things will be revealed when the time is right.

Grand plan

“We believe in ourselves and we have been working on the grand plan that our leaders have envisaged for a very, very successful World Cup in 2022. For the time-being it is one step at a time, and that is exactly what is happening at this moment as we unveil this initiative to bring forward the best minds from the region.”

The initiative Al Thawadi was referring to was ‘Challenge 22’ — an innovation award aimed at uniting, inspiring and challenging the Gulf’s brightest minds to help ensure the 2022 World Cup leaves behind a legacy.

Exactly what that legacy will be has yet to be decided, but Al Thawadi is keen that Qatar 2022 is both a great World Cup and the launchpad for a bright future for the country.

“Honestly, it is too early to talk about the message to be delivered. Today we are at the start of our delivering of the World Cup, so let us start and deliver the World Cup first,” he said.

Learning from mistakes

“Let us learn from our mistakes and from everybody’s mistakes and, when we are done in 2022, we will be able to sit down and talk about what we did right and what went wrong.

“But for the time being it is a matter of focusing on success and the success will go on in the way we are building the infrastructure so that we can play host to a fantastic World Cup. But, definitely, what is more important is that we leave a lasting legacy for mankind.

“I believe that as a major event we have a responsibility for leaving behind a strong legacy. It is not a question of an add-on, but it is a question of leaving a legacy. And, for us, as everybody agrees, the biggest legacy would be to develop human capability and human capacity and offer opportunities for human development.

“It means empowerment of the people. Everything else is finite, but human development and human capacity is limitless and goes on to empower generations to come.”

© Al Nisr Publishing LLC 2014. All rights reserved.

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