The Chairman of the Qatar Bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, son of the Emir of Qatar, today announced the leadership of his Bid Committee.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, President of the Qatar Football Association, will be a Member of the Board of Qatar 2022. A former Qatar national team star, he also played for club side Al-Rayyan which he later managed.
The CEO of the Bid will be Mr Hassan Al-Thawadi, who is currently Director of the Legal Department at the Qatar Investment Authority. Mr Al-Thawadi is also the Legal Council of Al-Sadd Sports Club and a former player at Qatar Clubâ€™s Youth Team.
Last week, a delegation from Qatar met FIFA President Joseph Blatter and Secretary General Jerome Valcke in Switzerland to submit the completed Bid registration form officially.
Sheikh Mohammed said: â€œWe believe it is time to bring the World Cup to the Middle East for the very first time. A World Cup in Qatar in 2022 would be the first global sports event to be hosted in the region. What could be more fitting than it being the worldâ€™s favourite game that achieves this truly historic status?”
â€œOur Bid truly epitomises FIFAâ€™s slogan â€˜For the Game, For the Worldâ€™. The World Cup in the Middle East would bring so many positive things to our region including friendships and understandings between competitors and spectators that would extend far beyond the World Cup itself.”
â€œA World Cup held in the Middle East would provide an opportunity for greater understanding and unity between the Arab and Western worlds. It would allow the rest of the world to gain a true picture of Arab culture and hospitality. While winning the honour of hosting the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would provide a symbol of hope and inspiration for this whole region.â€
â€œThis is a great moment for Qatar and the Middle East and I know that our bid will be enthusiastically supported by football fans of all ages across the whole region. We are extremely passionate about football and the region is craving for an event like this to take place. Qatar has the ability to host a prestigious tournament such as the World Cup finals and we look forward to presenting our Bid to the international football community.â€
Sheikh Mohammed concluded: â€œWe know that we have a lot of work to do before the FIFA Executive Board makes its decision in December 2010. I am therefore delighted to be joined here today by the leadership of our Bid Committee who will be managing the application on behalf of Qatar. We will announce the full Bid Committee in the near future.â€
The President of the Qatar Football Association, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said: â€œWe truly believe that a FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar would be good for football. I know that Qatar will be able to guarantee an exceptional tournament for the players, the fans and for FIFA. I am thrilled that Qatar is bidding for the 2022 World Cup and we look forward to working closely with the Bid Committee on the application.â€
Qatar is already an important centre for sport in the region, and Doha plays host to a large number of international sports events. Doha hosted the Asian Games in 2006, putting on what has been called â€œthe best, the biggest, the most widely reported, and the highest standard Asian Games everâ€. Partly as a result of this success, Qatar was selected to host the 2011 Asian Football Cup which will be the second time it has been hosted by Qatar, the other being in 1988. The AFC Asian Cup is Asiaâ€™s biggest football event.
Qatar is among 11 countries officially in contention to host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar and South Korea have applied only for the 2022 finals. The other nine candidates are bidding to host both the 2022 and 2018 tournaments. They are Japan, Mexico, the United States and four European countries: England, Russia and joint bidders Spain-Portugal, and Belgium-The Netherlands.
The next deadline in the bidding process is 11 December 2009 when all the bidders need to submit the signed hosting agreement. The Bid Book must be submitted to FIFA by 14 May 2010. In December 2010, FIFA will announce the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup.