A lasting legacy with global benefits is Qatar’s goal
Hassan Al Thawadi outlines the takeaways for the country and the world from the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Qatar’s vision and far-sightedness came to the fore as Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), dwelt on the impact the FIFA World Cup 2022 would have on the country and the world.
Speaking at the Milken Institute Asia Summit in Singapore, Al Thawadi said, “Creating a sustainable legacy is at the core of our mission. This starts with our stadiums and ensuring we avoid building infrastructure we don’t require, while contributing to football development across the world through donating the modular seats.”
Al Thawadi was taking part in a panel discussion titled, ‘Playing the Long Game: The Future of Sports in Asia.’
The SC secretary general highlighted Qatar’s ability to maximise the potential of technology while also being mindful about the environment. He explained that Qatar’s global outlook while investing in technology would benefit a host of other countries.
“Thecooling technology will ensure our stadiums are utilised year-round and the technology is already being applied in outdoor public areas in Doha. Countries with similar climates to ours will benefit from the development in this field, which is also more energy efficient than ever before,” he said.
Commitment, observation and innovation have marked Qatar’s approach to hosting the FIFA World Cup ever since they won the hosting rights in 2010. As they embarked on the arduous journey, Qatar stayed focused, observed other mega sports events and has come up with novel methods to meet the many challenges ahead, Al Thawadi said.
“We have attended and observed other major sporting events in order to learn from the successes and challenges facing host nations. Russia’s Fan ID system was a very successful initiative during the 2018 World Cup and we’re looking to build on that for 2022, potentially integrating access to stadiums, public transportation and various other elements of a fan’s journey.”
Al Thawadi added there was a concerted effort to ensure the ripple-effect of the World Cup spreads across the Middle East region. “We studied success stories of years gone by, such as the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona and the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and the incredible effect these had on the city and the country respectively. That’s what we want to replicate in Qatar and across the region.”
He said the evidence of the World Cup’s positive impact on Qatar and the many communities in the country was already on display. “This World Cup is already serving as a catalyst for accelerating social progress, as evidenced by the strides we have made in the sphere of worker welfare. It is already contributing to the national aim of diversifying our economy through enabling the development of a burgeoning sporting industry.”
Accompanying Al Thawadi on the discussion panel were Chase Carey, Executive Chairman & CEO, Formula 1, Derek Chang, CEO, NBA China, and Chatri Sityodtong, Founder, Chairman & CEO, ONE Championship.