Muscat – Despite all the criticism, Qatar made the whole world understand that the World Cup tournament can be held anywhere after successfully hosting the world’s biggest sporting event that concluded on Sunday.
The Qatari government taught the world how to respect the diversity of cultures, civilizations and religions. Global events such as the World Cup should reflect all colours and cultures of the world – was its message.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, Qatar’s Emir, who gave Argentine captain Lionel Messi a traditional bisht after his side won the trophy, tweeted, ‘We have fulfilled our promise to organise an exceptional championship by Arab countries, which provided an opportunity for the people of the world to learn about the richness of our culture and the originality of our values’.
Messi was prominently pictured wearing a bisht that the emir presented to the football icon before he lifted the World Cup trophy for his country.
Qatar 2022 was unique in many ways. First of all, Qatar is the first Muslim, Arab and Middle Eastern country to host the event. Second, Qatar is the smallest country among the hosting states in the history of the World Cup and many had doubts that such a small country could host the tournament.
But Qatar government successfully built eight stadiums and many other facilities for the event.
Qatar’s Emir said on Sunday that the Gulf state had delivered on its vow to hold an ‘exceptional’ World Cup.
According to Ahmed al Saeedi, a photographer, who has spent the whole World Cup season in Doha, Qatar organised this World Cup very well. “The organisation was the best and the security was great. Qatar has won a lot of friends by superbly organising the event,” he said.
“There was no room for complaints. From the airport security gates to the metro in the city… the stadiums, all were in perfect sync. I would say well done Qatar for everything.”
“I am proud to get an official accreditation from FIFA to photograph the World Cup matches, and significantly I documented the opening and closing with 16 matches. In terms of organisation and hosting, it was the best in all aspects,” he added.
Qatar had spent more than US$200bn on stadiums and new infrastructure ahead of the first World Cup in an Arab nation, which FIFA leader Gianni Infantino said was the ‘best ever’.
However, Qatar continued facing criticisms, which its officials said were an attempt to cast doubt on the Arab world’s right to hold such big events.
Tariq Barwani, an Omani IT expert, who got back from Qatar on Monday after spending three days, said, “I was attending not just the match at the stadium with my entire family but also was visiting every corner of the activities organised by Qatar for the FIFA World Cup. It was mesmerising for all of us.”
Barwani added, “The weather was amazing, the activities and entertainment across the country were well-organised with easy transportation to move from one location – be it a stadium or an event – to another. There was excitement everywhere and in every corner – for the crowd and for the organisers as well. And all that continued in a secure, pleasant and controlled manner.”
According to Barwani, there was everything available for everyone visiting and spending time in Qatar.
“My wife, daughter and son along with my sister’s family and children enjoyed the total atmosphere – from entertainments to hospitality; from the high-voltage match to the cheers and supports of the crowd from virtually every part of the world. In one line, I would say, this was a lifetime experience that my family and I would always treasure indeed,” he said.