World Cup 2022, a Great Opportunity to Drive Positive Change: Al Thawadi

Published October 20th, 2018 - 08:49 GMT
Hassan al Thawadi
Hassan al Thawadi

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) Secretary-General Hassan al Thawadi stressed on Thursday that the first FIFA World Cup to be held in the Arab world will be a precious opportunity to drive real change across the region.

Speaking at a meeting with the Bundestags Sports Committee, he said that the Qatar was"determined to ensure we use it as a platform to drive real change across the region. We want to host an event that leaves its mark in history and is etched into global memories for positive reasons."

He added that the Qatar has made significant progress in recent years towards enhancing workers' rights, saying that the dignity and safety of all workers in Qatar was of utmost importance.

The meeting focused on discussing a number of issues such as media freedom, tournament security, accommodation and transport, the impact of the blockade, and sports participation in Qatar.

On Germany's important role in the Qatar 2022 World Cup projects, Thawadi said that "We're lucky enough to have over 30 German companies involved in projects helping Qatar prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

"These companies have been involved in the development of major tournament infrastructure, including five of the eight stadiums that will be used in 2022."

On his part, the Ambassador of Qatar in Germany HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman al Thani provided an overview of how the 2022 tournament is helping drive important elements of Qatar National Vision 2030, as well as how it's accelerating the rapid national labour reforms currently being implemented.

"I sincerely thank the Sports Committee in the Bundestag for welcoming us today and HE Hassan al Thawadi for attending and illustrating the impact the 2022 FIFA World Cup is having and will have, both in Qatar and the wider region, long after the tournament.

"Qatar and Germany continue to enjoy a strong and fruitful relationship and I look forward to this continuing in the lead-up to 2022 and beyond," His Excellency said.

The Ambassador also discussed how the tournament had accelerated reform for millions of migrant workers in the country before stating that Qatar will shortly ratify a minimum wage.

Director of Global Initiatives of Human Rights Watch Minky Worden also attended to update the committee on her priorities for improving workers rights in Qatar and the progress she has seen to-date. She praised Qatar's progress while encouraging further enforcement and reform.

The session was also attended by FIFA's Head of Sustainability, Federico Addiechi, and Head of Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, Myriam Burkhard. Stephanie Schulte, the German Football Associations Head of Social Responsibility.

Samy Hamama, Head of the Presidential Office, also gave brief remarks and participated in the question and answer session.

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