LIVE – World Cup, D-1: FIFA sponsors are angry

Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for the Delivery and Legacy of the 2022 World Cup published a column in the Times, in which he calls to put “prejudices aside” two days before the start of the World Cup.

“The opening ceremony and kick-off will cap off a 12-year and sometimes turbulent journey since we were awarded the right to host the world’s biggest event for the first time in our region.

This World Cup is probably the one that has been the subject of the greatest number of comments and has caused the most ink to flow, even before the first kick-off. It is deeply unfortunate that much of this commentary tends to embrace misinformation, reject nuance and analysis, and is often backed by racist views based on longstanding stereotypes and prejudices about the Middle East and the Arab world. .

This does not mean that we reject constructive criticism. We make contact with all the people who issue it and consider each of their words. We have made sure that this Tournament is a symbol of progress, since it has contributed significantly to labor reforms in our country. These developments are internationally recognized.

We wanted this Tournament to bring the West and the Middle East closer together, to help us learn about our differences and celebrate a common humanity through the passion that unites us: soccer.

With the current global climate, we need to know how to appreciate these rare occasions to come together. The beauty of the World Cup lies in its ability to attract people from all corners of the world, from all walks of life. He leaves a legacy of brotherhood and empathy that fights against misunderstandings, prejudices and stereotypes.

This is especially important for the 450 million people in our region who live and breathe football. Our peoples are united by history, language, culture and religions. Different countries retain their own complexities. What is indisputable is that from Algeria to Qatar, football is our common passion. Since 1930, the history of the World Cup has been written on every continent. And this time it’s up to us to let history be written in our lands.

Although for some Qatar and the Arab world are not suitable or deserve to be the host country, the facts suggest that this opinion is not unanimous: 97% of the tickets are sold. The UK is among the top five markets for these sales.

We are delighted to welcome so many supporters and provide them with the culture of hospitality that we cherish as Qataris and Arabs. We are proud of who we are and the values ​​we stand for. We are a nation that has always defended openness, dialogue between peoples and rapprochement between peoples. These values ​​are the essence of the World Cup.”

Jamie Franklin

"Troublemaker. Typical travel fan. Food fanatic. Award-winning student. Organizer. Entrepreneur. Bacon specialist."

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