With a post-pandemic global recession looming, Qatar has vowed to host the “affordable” World Cup in two and a half years. The tournament is scheduled to start in November 2022 which created problems for Europe’s domestic league schedulers just before the coronavirus crisis forced their competitions to be suspended.
Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of Qatar 2022’s Supreme Distribution and Legacy Committee, said his organization aims to exchange ideas with those organizing sporting events, such as Tokyo 2020.
Yet he recognizes that a recession that prevents football fans’ willingness to fly into the Middle East is a “concern” for him and his colleagues.
Speaking at the conference at LeadersWeek.direct, he said: “There are major consequences for families, livelihoods, and the question we have today is how does recovery look?
“It’s uncertain right now. We ‘re entering a recession, so there’s no question that there’s worry about the global economy and the willingness of fans to afford travel and the opportunity to come and enjoy the World Cup. We’ve always said this will be an affordable tournament from day one; we want anyone who wants to be able to come to the World Cup to be able to come in. We showed that the whole travel experience was accessible in terms of fares, in terms of lodging, during the Club World Cup when we were engaging with fans from all the different clubs. We ‘re trying to understand what the recovery will look like, and we’re also committed to finding a balance between an affordable World Cup and at the same time a price range that’s realistic for both business and service providers. That’s one of our concerns.”
Al Thawadi said the 2017 Qatar boycott by other Middle East nations, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, had no impact on tournament preparations and made the country “more resilient.”