Football: Qatar criticism ‘not based on reality’; Organizers promise an ‘incredible world cup’

LUSAIL, Qatar – Organizers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar said Thursday that much of the criticism of the host nation has been “unfair” and “not based on real facts.”

Speaking at a press conference at Lusail Stadium, where the World Cup final will be played on December 18, World Cup 2022 CEO Nasser Al Khater said: “Qatar has faced a lot of criticism From the beginning.

“We always maintain that people who have not visited Qatar will have a different perception than when they do… Everyone is free to make their own perceptions, this is human nature.

“However, we believe that a lot of the criticism has been unfair, a lot of it has not been based on factual reality. What we thought was fair criticism, we have taken into account… which has led to significant changes.” that Qatar is proud of today”.

I was responding to a question about how certain sections of the Western media have portrayed the run-up to the World Cup from November 20 to December 18. Some outlets have raised issues ranging from human rights to a national ban on public consumption of alcohol.

The latter was a hot topic at the press conference organized by the Qatar 2022 panel, which included Qatar Supreme Committee Director General Yasir Al Jamal and Security Operations Committee Executive Director Jassim Al Sayid.

Calling it a “misconception”, Al Khater said: “We have always said that the sale of alcohol is available here in Qatar, and we have also said that during the World Cup we will make it available in specific areas for fans.”

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He added that the organizers were working out details with FIFA in a process that “is not unlike any other World Cup.” The BBC reported on Wednesday that Al Khater had promised alcohol would be served “in selected areas of the stadium” and that organizers were still “finalizing our alcohol strategy”.

The panel, meeting to provide an update on the “fan journey”, said it was determined to produce a memorable experience for all those arriving for football’s main event.

On Thursday, FIFA also announced a “reimagined” Fan Festival, dubbed a “multidimensional and inclusive event” to allow fans to experience games in a festive setting.

Located at Al Bidda in Doha with the West Bay skyline as a backdrop, the 40,000-capacity fan zone will feature live broadcasts of every match on giant screens, concerts, a food court offering local and international cuisine and interactive game stations.

Alcohol will be available for sale there only after 6:30 pm, and Al Khater stated that they wanted the zone to be alcohol-free for families and children in the early hours of the day.

In a press release, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “The FIFA Fan Festival provides an incredible opportunity for fans to come together beyond the stadiums and the action on the pitch and experience football in new ways. and unique”.

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