By Ashraf Siddiqui

DOHA – Tiny State of Qatar in Arabian Peninsula has gained prominent and prestigious status among the world body through it’s a positive and strong role in various sectors across the world. Its role as a strategic partner in the political arena in solving major conflicts; meeting energy requirements across the regions; programs like Education Above All, WISE and WISH in the development of medicine, science and research are among numerous services for the elevation of humanity.

Sport is a culture in Qatar as witnessed from ‘Qatar National Sports Day’, 2nd Tuesday of February of every year is a public holiday to promote healthy lifestyle and promoting the importance of exercise in daily life. Moreover, the hosting of various regional and world level tournaments as well as Qatar’s holding of various positions in the ranking of various sports has cemented strong confidence in Qatar’s deep passion and dedication in the field of sports not only in the sport of soccer.

Another feather is now added to its worldwide reputation in sports on the timely completion of a challenging innovative infrastructure required in hosting mega sports event level of FIFA World Cup with a style and innovation to be followed in the future.

The decision to host a mega sport like of FIFA World Cup by Qatar, a small country to many was a mistake, a simple dream as mentioned by then US President Barrack Obama on the night of 2nd December 2010. He had said that FIFA made a 'wrong decision' and that too ahead of the United States. The US had lost in final voting against Qatar by 14-8 in Zurich.

However, Father Amir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa comments were “We will deliver with passion and make sure this is a milestone in the history of the Middle East and a milestone for Fifa. On behalf of millions of people in the Middle East, thank you for believing in us, thank you for having such bold vision. I can promise we will not let you down.”

2022 World Cup is first tournament in Middle East, 2nd time in Asia jointly organized in 2002 by Japan and South Korea.

Now less than three weeks are left in the realization of then a dream to many, to me it was a vision not simple dream, very well calculated, well planned, designed in an innovative and unprecedented style, well organized and well-selected team.

HH The Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad AlThani in his message at the 51st annual session of Shura Council on Nov. 1 said, “Our meeting today is taking place against the backdrop of the state and the people’s preoccupation with preparing to host a historical event that constitutes one of our most important national projects, which is the World Cup. The global interest in this event as well as in the host country reveals the extent of significance of this event for our country. It is the most important sporting event, yet it is not a mere sporting event, but rather a major humanitarian occasion.” 

HH the Amir said, “In short, it is an occasion in which we portray ‘who we are’, not only in terms of the strength of our economy and institutions but also in terms of our civilizational identity. This is a great test for a country the size of Qatar that impresses the whole world with what it has already achieved and is achieving.” 

The first match on the inauguration ceremony of the long-awaited tournament will take place on 20th of November at the iconic architecture of AlBayt stadium in AlKhor in presence of 60,000 overwhelmed spectators including expected dozens of heads of states, prime ministers and other dignitaries.  

Around 20 days are left in the inauguration of the mega football world cup here in Qatar. It will be right to say that completion of all arrangements for hosting 2022 FIFA World Cup by the State of Qatar has not only defused all the doubts about its capability rather strengthened much confidence in its leadership role in the sports sector too. (PNA)

Ashraf Siddiqui, a well known journalist, and having rich experience of over four decades in Gulf States