2022 World Cup important for Qatar and Middle East

Gianni Infantino says that the quadrennial tournament has massive potential to break down cultural stereotypes.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino.   -  Getty Images

Qatar will host West Asia's first World Cup in four years time. The preparations for the quadrennial event is going on as per schedule despite the Saudi Arabia-led blockade since 2017. 

Secretary general of the Legacy committee Hassan Al Thawadi believes that that the host nation could stage a successful World Cup which in turn could will help project a positive outlook of the Middle-East country.

"Football has the power to build bridges of understanding between people and cultures. With key tournament and national infrastructure projects on-schedule and each of our legacy initiatives proving a catalyst for positive change both locally and abroad, we are delivering on our promise of hosting a unique and transformational FIFA World Cup for Qatar, the region and the world,” said Al Thawadi.

Commenting on the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the tournament had massive potential to break down cultural stereotypes and bring people together through football.

"I think this World Cup is extremely important, not only for Qatar but for the whole region — a region that has a passion for football and is investing a lot in the game. This World Cup is a unique opportunity — a chance to show the world what this region can offer; for football, but also for anybody in the world to come and visit a beautiful place, learn about a new culture and meet new people. In this world, especially in the current climate, it is very much needed that we open our doors and discover new places."

The recent World Cup in Russia set a high benchmark, said Infantino, who is expecting fans to receive a warm welcome in Qatar in 2022.

"There are many lessons we can learn from Russia," said Infantino. "The first one is how to welcome so many people – 1.5 million people came to Russia to enjoy the World Cup and they were all welcomed in a way that was unexpected to many. There were many fears about Russia, but it turned out to be a very safe World Cup, a very welcoming World Cup, in a country that made fans feel good.

"The whole population contributed to that and I'm sure the same will happen here in Qatar. The Russian World Cup was the best ever, and the World Cup in 2022 has to be even better."