Qatar, FIFA mark one-year countdown to first World Cup in Middle East

Qatar, FIFA mark one-year countdown to first World Cup in Middle East

The first FIFA World Cup to be held in the Middle East – in Qatar – is one year away – the opening match is scheduled for November 21, 2022, at the Al Bayt Stadium in Doha.

Nigeria’s Super Eagles are still in contention to be one of the 32 teams in Qatar as they are through to the last round of qualifiers scheduled for March 2022. A total of 13 countries including defending champions, France, have already booked their ticket for Qatar.

To commemorate the one-year countdown, there will be a special ceremony tagged ‘Join the Beat’ at the Al Bayt Stadium from 6:30 p.m. Nigeria time.

“We will enjoy being all together in one place,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“Fans will be treated to top-class football in eight state-of-the-art stadiums. We are looking forward to the opportunity to bring people from different backgrounds together.

“What I see here is a country that is preparing to welcome the whole world, and every fan, but also looking into where improvements are needed and taking real steps to do so in many different areas, particularly in relation to human rights and workers’ welfare.”

There have been calls for a boycott of the World Cup on account of reported human rights violations on immigrant workers who have helped build the eight stadiums to be used for the tournament though Qatar has continuously denied any such violations.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the one-year-to-go milestone,” says Hassan Al-Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

“We are on track to deliver a tournament that will set new benchmarks for social, human, economic and environmental development, a tournament that will forever be remembered as innovative, sustainable and transformative when people came from all over the world to visit the Middle East and Arab world for the first time and have life-changing experiences.

“This is a unique and special moment for Qatar as the host country. After 11 years of hard work and lasting progress, we are well on the way towards delivering the first World Cup in our region, one that will leave a profound legacy for Qatar, the region, and the entire world.”

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