Posted on January 03, 2020

The Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), Hassan Al Thawadi, has said that Qatar has learned a lot across every functional area, whether it be ticketing, security, communications, travel, accommodation, protocol and others from the Arabian Gulf Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.

“Both tournaments showed we are on the right track to delivering an outstanding World Cup in 2022. Both events were invaluable – and we expect the Club World Cup in 2020, plus the event we host in 2021, will be exactly the same. They are all vital learning experiences,” Hassan Al Thawadi said in an interview published on the official website of the SC. He added: “Despite the successes, we know we still have a long way to go in order to deliver the best possible tournament for fans, players and officials in 2022. We are still learning and there remain plenty of challenges. However, we are proud of both tournaments and pleased with the feedback we have received so far. We will carefully assess the constructive criticism and apply the lessons learned in 2020 and beyond.”

Regarding the influx of fans from all over the world FIFA Club World Cup, Al Thawadi said: “It was a key test – and as we’ve been saying would be the case for many years, those fans were welcomed with open arms. We have always said that we want to showcase Qatari and Arab hospitality – and that’s exactly what we did during the Club World Cup. The fans discovered a very friendly country which was prepared to go the extra mile in order to deliver a memorable fan experience.” “We know, however, that there are areas where we can improve the fan experience. There are certain things we need to prioritise from a communications point of view, such as travel, security and ticketing. We also need to ensure fans are familiar with cultural norms in Qatar and feel comfortable about visiting our country.”

To another question about the impact of the Metro during the tournaments, Al Thawadi said: “One of our biggest challenges in 2022 will be getting groups of people from A to B. Shuttling fans, players and officials between their hotels, training sites, stadiums and fan zones will require careful planning. Having the metro operational during the two recent tournaments was a huge advantage. It is very convenient for everyone. It is also the cheapest and quickest way of getting around Qatar.” “Huge credit must go to Qatar Rail for providing such an exceptional experience.” “One of our tasks now is to look carefully at the entire journey the fans take. Did they find it easy to get to a metro station? Did they take advantage of the free travel on match days? What about the journey on foot from the metro station to the stadium? Then once they arrived at the stadium, how quickly did they come through security and get to their seats? These are all questions we need to assess and review over the coming months.”

The Secretary General of the Supreme Committee said that the launch of Al Janoub Stadium was a huge moment for us as it was the first tournament venue to be built from scratch. “Seeing the stadium full to capacity during the Amir Cup — and looking absolutely splendid — was a landmark achievement. These are the nights which showcase our journey towards to 2022.” “In terms of 2020, four stadiums are in the final stages of delivery: Education City Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Rayyan Stadium and Al Thumama Stadium. The other two, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium and Lusail Stadium, are also nearing completion and will be delivered well in advance of the World Cup.”