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Qatar World Cup a platform to East-West understanding:Thawadi

By Nikhil Bapat

Doha, Nov 7 (PTI) With an Islamic nation preparing to host its maiden FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022, Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the Organising Committee, averred that the tournament would serve as a platform to enhance the understanding between the East and the West.

"There is one event above all events, that has the power to unite people from different backgrounds, from different fields, from different cultures, and that is the World Cup," Thawadi, Secretary General of Supreme Committee for the Delivery and Legacy (SC) said.

"We have always viewed the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, the first to be held in our region, as a unique platform for bringing people together and enhancing understanding between East and the West," he said.

Thawadi was speaking at the inauguration of the two-day deliberations over '1st Major Event Safety and Security Conference, jointly organized by SC and the Interpol here.

"And for us, it is not about merely 64 matches in 28 days in 2022. We see 2022 (World Cup) as a platform in helping our region and our people in the long run, Thawadi said.

After the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, it will be first ever FIFA World Cup in the Middle East. Qatar had got the rights to host the World Cup in 2010 itself.

It will be only for the second time that the tournament will be played in the Asian continent after it was co-hosted by South Korea and Japan in 2002.

"We will host the World Cup in 2022 that is robustly safe and secure based on shared best practices between international and national partners, through organisations and administration, through data sharing, knowledge exchange as well as effective law enforcement.

"Qatar continuously works to ensure its safe and secure environment for its people. A stable and secure environment has served as the foundation for our countrys rapid development over the last decades. In June, the global peace report, ranked Qatar as the most peaceful nation in Middle East and North Africa for the ninth year (in) running, he said highlighting the importance of security.

His comments came in the wake of concerns of hooliganism, which was witnessed in 2016 Euro and terrorism, a major issue concerning the Middle East and other countries across the globe.

Meanwhile, the matches of the 2022 World Cup are proposed to be hosted by eight different stadiums, of which six are being constructed at the moment. Construction of one stadium - Ras Abu Aboud is expected to begin shortly.

Khalifa International Stadium, one of the venues which will host the matches, was opened in May this year and got rave reviews for its special cooling technology.

Secretary General of Interpol Jurgen Stock was also present for the inaugural session

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