Qatar World Cup chief Hassan Al Thawadi claims that the tournament has transformed perceptions and transformed his country.
He also argued that recognition should be given to workers who have been subjected to “unacceptable” conditions.
Sky News’ Mr Al Thawadi stated that “the progress will not stop when the last whistle is blown.”
Lusail, the centerpiece of the PS150bn+ World Cup Project, will host the showdown between Argentina & France in order to end the first World Cup to take place in the Middle East.
In a Doha interview, Mr Al Thawadi stated that “This was an occasion to celebrate the Arab people, our culture, our tradition, and our history.”
“People may have different opinions.
“I’ve heard it many times, especially from Europeans, that they may have come to support this team – but with trepidation and a little concern.
“But, when they engaged in dialogue with Qatari communities, with Arab communities, and when they interacted with the hospitality, many of them left with a different opinion, with a new view.
“And to that degree, it was a platform to bring people together in a unique way.”
Al Thawadi spoke in his sole interview on the eve the final. It was the culmination of 12 years of hard work, from winning an ambitious bid to deliver the event to fighting threats from regional diplomatic instability and investigations to winning the tournament.
He said, “It changed how people see this area of the world.” “It allowed us to show the best of ourselves.”
Despite the World Cup being seen as a catalyst to improve labour conditions and rights, such tragedies and suffering will continue to be associated with it.
Al Thawadi stated that the country recognized the need to reform because the conditions were unacceptable. The laws were then put into place.
From 2014 to 2020 there were 414 deaths in Qatari infrastructure, but only three occurred during construction of stadiums. Two deaths occurred in accidents at World Cup-related sites during the tournament.
Al Thawadi stated that there is an insurance fund for workers to help with unfortunate deaths. “And this will continue beyond the World Cup.”
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The World Cup’s return to Qatar placed a spotlight on discriminatory laws. Although there were assurances that LGBT fans would be protected, some were stopped by security wearing rainbow hats or t-shirts.
Al Thawadi stated that “some fans had to face problems.”
“I believe some security personnel might have made a decision at that time to see what was the best, regardless of whether there were potential tensions rising within the stadium.
In the Muslim country, there is resistance to decriminalizing same-sex relationships.
Al Thawadi stated, “This is something within our religious values.”
“This is because a lot countries share the same values… more community-based than where the dominant set of values is personal rights.
“I believe people know that there are differences of opinion. It’s important to emphasize that we must find ways to respect each other’s opinions and find a way to move forward. This is what the World Cup has demonstrated.
After Qatar banned alcohol sales in stadiums, there was a brief backlash, especially from some Europeans.
However, reducing the chances of fans drinking before matches has been credited with creating an environment that is more welcoming for Muslim fans and their families from the region.
Al Thawadi stated that cultural understanding is essential in today’s world.
“We are people from different backgrounds who share different values and are members of different communities.
“But, I believe we must be able to communicate our differences with one another.
“But at the exact same time, being able to leave having disagreed but not been conflicted.
“Having disagreements but respecting others’ opinions and finding ways to come together and coexist together.”