Qatar’s Al Khater to India: Be patient in quest for football success

The CEO, FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022, was speaking at the Sportstar Aces Awards ceremony supported by Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy, in association with MRF in Mumbai on Thursday.

Al Khater spoke of the close ties between India and his land, bonds built not least because of the presence of a huge subcontinental population of migrant workers in Qatar.   -  vivek bendre

Nasser Al Khater, CEO, FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022, has urged India to be patient in its quest for success on the global football stage.

“We had a young team that surprised everyone by winning the AFC Asian Cup under very difficult circumstances,” he said. “We’re a country elated by a win we did not think possible. We have a national population of 350,000 and we did this. So, have patience.”

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Qatar wanted to qualify for a World Cup on merit before hosting the event, Al Khater stated, but it was unable to do so. “We had put down a strategy in 2004. We were not able to qualify for the FIFA World Cup before hosting it, but we won the Asian Cup. It was great that India almost qualified for the knockout stages of the Asian Cup.”

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Al Khater spoke of the close ties between India and his land, bonds built not least because of the presence of a huge subcontinental population of migrant workers in Qatar. “We have a large Indian community in Qatar. Our doctors, teachers, and engineers are Indians. You stand side by side with us. Doha is closer (to Mumbai) than some Indian cities. This is not just Qatar’s World Cup. This is your World Cup too,” he said.