Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Qatar and FIFA announce Pan-Arab tournament in 2021

Posted on 27 June 2020 by Tusdiq Din

A preparatory test event for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in conjunction with the Qatar Football Association has been jointly announced by the two footballing bodies. The Pan-Arab tournament will be held in the Gulf state in late 2021.

Presenting the proposal via video conference, the Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and Chairman of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Hassan Al Thawadi said, ““This exciting tournament will act as a perfect preparatory event for Qatar ahead of the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world.”

The tournament is scheduled to mirror the FIFA World Cup 2022, with the final taking place exactly a year to the day before the 2022 World Cup final is scheduled to kick-off at the Lusail Stadium in Doha

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Secretary General of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, Hassan al-Thawadi – Qatar is ready to welcome the world

President of the QFA, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Thani, said: “This is an exciting moment for Qatar and football fans across the region and around the world. This new pan-Arab tournament will see teams from across the region go head-to-head in state-of-the-art FIFA World Cup venues and allow teams and fans to experience Qatar as a tournament host country. This tournament marks an important footballing milestone for the country and the region, and everyone involved in delivering it will gain more essential experience ahead of the Qatar World Cup.”

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Italy head coach Roberto Mancini with H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Thani 

With the majority of the infrastructure projects already completed, an ultra-modern airport, new expressways and a brand new metro system which opened in 2019, Al Thawadi remains confident that the first World Cup to be held in an Islamic country will be a success.

“Qatar has hosted many events since it was awarded the World Cup hosting rights back in 2010, but this will be our biggest yet and it will prove essential in utilising facilities and services ahead of 2022. The tournament is also being held at exactly the same time as the World Cup, meaning fans, players and officials will get a taste of what’s to come in 2022. “

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Fans will be able to sample the atmosphere in five Doha fan zones

The 22-team men’s invitational tournament will be contested by Arab, African and Asian nations, and will be played outside of the international match calendar. The tournament participants and the match schedule have yet to be announced.

The tournament, which will be held in Qatar from 1-18 December 2021 will allow the organisers to use the facilities and run operations which are planned for the subsequent FIFA World Cup 2022 which itself begins on 21 November 2022.

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The Qatar metro opened in 2019

The Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 has been described as the first compact World Cup. The proximity of the stadiums in Doha will enable fans to watch multiple matches for the first time, with a maximum one hour travel time between stadiums. Fans will also be able to enjoy the atmosphere in five fan zones in Doha.

All the stadiums will utilise state of the art cooling clean air technology, while the fully detachable upper tiers will be distributed to developing countries after the World Cup Final. The Rad Abu Aboud stadium will be entirely dismantled and reused in projects outside Qatar. The organisers are proud to be hosting the first carbon-neutral World Cup, while all team base camps will boast world class facilities and will be less than an hour away from stadiums.

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2022 FIFA World Cup CEO Nasser Al-Khater with Xavi Hernandez, at the Khalifa International Stadium which will host the World Cup Final