Netherlands official impressed by Qatar’s 2022 preparations, progress of game in country
Royal Netherlands Football Association General Secretary Gijs de Jong says he is impressed with Qatar’s preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Royal Netherlands Football Association General Secretary Gijs de Jong, who was in Doha to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Qatar Football Association (QFA) said on Tuesday that he was very impressed with Qatar’s preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup as well as overall football development in the country.
“This is my first visit to Qatar. I got to know that Qatar’s preparations are very impressive. The fact that almost all stadiums would be ready by 2020 itself is a great achievement compared to the last two World Cups,” De Jong told journalists.
He said he was impressed with Qatar’s plans to donate stadium infrastructure to developing countries after the tournament.
“I’ve been very impressed by all the preparations,” said de Jong. “The stadium models look good and the distances are so short between venues. The legacy part is also very important. It’s a good idea to help other parts of the world and to get everyone involved in the tournament.”
He was hopeful the Netherlands would qualify for the Qatar World Cup.
“We failed to make it to the 2016 Euro and 2018 FIFA World Cup finals. But our young team is showing signs of progress and had some encouraging results recently. I hope they would qualify for the Qatar World Cup,” he said.
About the winter scheduling of the 2022 World Cup, De Jong said it did not make much difference.
“23-24 degrees Celsius (in Qatar during November-December) would still be like summer for us,” he said with a smile.
The Netherlands official said a combination of his country’s experience and knowledge along with Qatar’s strong desire to develop its football and progress would make their co-operation successful.
“We already know Qatar. We had some projects together. A combination of our experience and knowledge and the strong desire shown by the QFA to achieve progress make it a good click with them,” said De Jong.
“For us it’s important that football develops in the whole world, not only in Europe. Children in Qatar deserve to get the best. We’re here to share our knowledge. I’m very impressed by the development made by Qatar in recent years,” he added.
The MoU mainly focuses on coach and referee education, for both men and women at the youth category, so that it promotes sustainable growth from the grass-roots level.