With Russia done, action and attention shifts to Qatar 2022 World Cup

Two weeks before the end of the 2018 World Cup, 2022 hosts Qatar pitched camp in Moscow to boost their case for   the next edition.

In the Fan Fest, and the Russian capital, stood banners that stated:  “Welcome to Qatar 2022 World Cup, ” before a special pavilion was unveiled giving fans a taste of things to come. The pavilion brought the spirit of Middle Eastern culture and way of life into the Russian capital to encourage football fans to visit Qatar for the next World Cup in 2022.

Middle Eastern spices, Arabic calligraphy, national clothes and even a falcon were presented to the audience.

“We have always believed in the power of football in bringing people together, the power of football in changing minds and hearts,” Head of Qatar’s 2022 World Cup committee Hasan al-Tawadi said, adding that the World Cup in Russia has clearly proven that.

Fatma Alnuaimi, Communication Director for Delivery and Legacy Qatar 2022 observes Russia’s planning and execution of the tournament was phenomenal, adding there is a lot to learn from them.

“Every tournament has a different taste, so we expect the Middle East experience to be unique in diverse ways. I think that’s one reason why the tournament is held in different countries. We have seen how the FIFA Fan ID idea has worked well here and maybe it is something we could consider to have for 2022,” she told.

Alnuaimi underscored the striking differences to expect in Qatar, reflecting on the Russian set up, with geographical location of stadiums mattering most.

“Unlike Russia where fans had to travel long distances from the capital Moscow to catch the live action, in different 10 more cities, all Qatar venues are a maximum one-hour away from one to another. That makes it possible for fans to watch even two matches every day in different venues,” she expounded.

In Russia, the largest country in the world covering 17.1 million square kilometers, fans could not travel to two different venues in the same day save for Spartak and Luzhiniki, both in Moscow.

Matches in Kaliningrad demanded proper planning to attend when connecting from Moscow, 1, 266.7 kilometers away.

Alnuaimi however stated alcohol in Qatar will be taken only in restricted areas, as opposed to Russia where drinking is a non-issue.

“Alcohol is now allowed in Qatar, but there are regulations about it. I would rather view it as positive interesting feature about Qatar, rather than a limitation…” she noted.

Qatar 2022 dream was pronounced in 2010 by former FIFA president Sepp Blatter, but will come to pass in the Gianni Infantino era who has already backed the oil-rich country to deliver.