Qatar has vowed to host an “affordable” World Cup 2022 in two-and-a-half years, despite a post-pandemic global recession looming.
Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Distribution and Legacy Committee of Qatar 2022, said his organization aims to speak to those organizing sporting events, such as Tokyo 2020, to exchange ideas. LEADERS Business reports on it via Twitter.
Speaking at the LeadersWeek.direct conference, he said: “We’re trying to understand what the recovery is going to look like, and we’re still committed to a balance between an affordable World Cup and at the same time a price range which is functional for the industry and for service providers. That is one of the concerns that we have.”
Nevertheless, he acknowledges that a recession that prevents the willingness of football fans to fly to the Middle East is a “concern” for him and his colleagues:
“There are significant implications for employment, livelihoods, and the problem we have today is, what is recovery going to look like?
“It’s all right now unclear. We are entering into a recession, and there is no doubt there is a concern about the global economy and the ability of fans to afford travel and afford coming and celebrating the World Cup.
“We have always said from day one this will be an affordable tournament; we want anyone who wants to be able to come to the World Cup to be able to come.”
Al Thawadi said that the 2017 blockade of Qatar by other Middle East nations, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, had no effect on the preparations for the tournament and made the country “more resilient”:
“We demonstrated that during the Club World Cup when we engaged with fans from all the different clubs, that the whole travel experience was affordable in terms of flights, in terms of accommodation.”
The tournament is scheduled to start in November 2022, which created problems for domestic league schedulers in Europe just before the coronavirus crisis forced the suspension of their competitions.