FIFA president Gianni Infantino stated on Monday that the 2022 World Cup, which will be hosted by Qatar, will be viewed by 5 billion people worldwide. The 2018 World Cup in Russia attracted a record-breaking 3.5 billion viewers on television.
Starting in late November, Qatar, a small but affluent Gulf Arab state, will host the first World Cup in the Middle East.
On Monday, Qatar’s reigning Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, condemned attacks on the country by some people, “including many in positions of authority,” over the event’s hosting.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum, he said that there are still some who cannot accept the idea of an Arab Muslim country hosting a tournament like the World Cup.
He noted that Qatar was “not perfect” like other countries, but it has pushed changes and progress. Increase in the minimum wage and new laws aimed to protect workers, notably from heat stress, are among the reforms.
‘A champion is somebody who hates to stand still.’
Arsène Wenger, Chief of Global Football Development for @FIFAcom, discusses the importance of always seeking to move forward and improve.
— World Economic Forum (@wef) May 23, 2022
However, high-profile soccer players, including England manager Gareth Southgate, have expressed worry over the human rights of some Qatari fans, particularly women and LGBT+ fans.
The tournament organizers emphasize that everyone is welcome in Qatar, regardless of sexual orientation or origin, while simultaneously cautioning spectators against public displays of affection.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is set to be the 22nd edition of the quadrennial international men’s football championship, which will be contested by national teams from FIFA member countries and is scheduled to take place from November 21 to December 18, 2022.
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