AFC President calls on global football family to unite behind FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
With just more than two weeks remaining until the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has urged the global football family to firmly unite behind the sporting spectacle.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which will be held from November 20 to December 18, will be only the second time an Asian country hosts the tournament, following the Korea/Japan FIFA World Cup in 2002.
“The FIFA World Cup is returning to Asia after 20 long years, and that too at a challenging time when the entire world is recovering from the after-effects of a deadly pandemic. There are deep undercurrents of cynicism due to a combination of factors,” said the AFC President.
“But no other sport has the unique power to bring us all together in a positive spirit of joy, excitement and optimism, and there is no other competition better positioned than the FIFA World Cup to send out a resoundingly inclusive message of goodwill and peace in these difficult times,” added Shaikh Salman.
“The extraordinary efforts of the State of Qatar, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the Qatar Football Association, FIFA and all stakeholders will ensure that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is an incredible success that will be remembered for all times to come.
“Now more than ever, it is crucial for all of us to wholeheartedly complement their efforts by offering our full support to the tournament in order to help football realise its true potential and build bridges of solidarity and peace through the beautiful game,” remarked Shaikh Salman.
The AFC President also emphasised the importance of delivering a successful competition.
“A successful FIFA World Cup in Qatar is the need of the hour as it is the pathway to foster and promote understanding and solidarity, and it is my sincere hope that in these challenging times, we will not be distracted from appreciating the great joy football, as a unifying force for good, is capable of bringing us.”
Shaikh Salman continued: “The AFC stands in solidarity with the State of Qatar, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the Qatar Football Association, and FIFA, and pledges its full support and unwavering commitment towards a successful FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.”
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will feature a record six Asian teams as well as the largest-ever cast of 19 Asian match officials. Hosts Qatar take on Ecuador in the opening match on November 20 at the Al Bayt Stadium, while the grand finale is set for December 18 at the Lusail Stadium.