Qatar has developed strict medical procedures covering large events after organizing dozens of football matches during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the country is confident it can safely host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Fatma Al-Nuaimi, the communications executive director at the organizing Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, told Sputnik.
“During that time when the world faced the challenge of actually hosting the tournament, and when the football calendar was canceled, we were able to develop some strict medical procedures so we could bring football back to stadiums,” Al-Nuaimi said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
Al-Nuaimi noted that Qatar hosted upwards of 60 AFC Champions League games in 2020, involving roughly 900 players, and added that “we’ve been able to put in place and to learn the best procedures.”
By the end of 2020, the country managed to increase stadium attendance from 20% to 50% of capacity, Al-Nuaimi stated. Qatar hopes to further increase the cap by the end of the current year as COVID-19 vaccination coverage increases across the globe, she added.
The 2022 World Cup will be held in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022. International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino said in February that the matches of the 2022 World Cup would be held with full stadiums as the world is expected to have overcome the COVID-19 pandemic by this time.
This year’s edition of SPIEF is taking place in-person from Wednesday through Saturday. The Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is an official media partner of Russia’s flagship forum.
Qatar is the guest country at this year’s forum.