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74 days to Qatar 2022 World Cup: Hassan Al Thawadi flying with the times

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Shipping containers are a menace to Lagos residents. Here, in Qatar Stadium 974 is a sight to behold. It is one of the stadiums that will host the 2022 World Cup starting here in less than 75 days from now.

Stadium 974 was built with 974 containers. They were beaten to shape to produce one of the spectacles of the 2022 World Cup. The same containers that make a mess of Nigerian roads add to the beauty of Qatar, the 2022 World Cup and the history that will be told and retold to generations to come. It is the first World Cup in the Middle East.

It is the first compact World Cup, the first in November and so the first that truly captures the context of the word ‘world’ and it’s meaning to the Mundial. If the World Cup is hosted by a few countries we may begin to redefine the word ‘world’ that actually underscores its global character. It will be wrong to deny any part of the world hosting rights because of their religion, time difference, weather or any natural disposition. And that’s one of the reasons the world will be here in Qatar from November 20 for the World Cup. Summer is considered too hot for football in Qatar but developed the cooling technology which may no longer be necessary since the World Cup will take place in November, the time of the year that is winter in Europe, the Americas and some other places.

Although Qatar installed cooling technology in their stadiums and was ready to host at anytime of the year there was good reason to move it to the conducive period of November and December which will just be about 28 degrees celsius, which Lothar Matthaus says will be ‘lovely for football.’

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The ingenuity of cooling atmosphere, building a stadium with shipping containers are just tips of the iceberg that will behold visitors at 2022 World Cup that Qatar will present in the coming days.

They are also the first in recent history to get their facilities ready even two years before the games. And these are facilities football legends like Ruud Gullit, Lotha Mattaus, Bora Milutinovic, Samuel Eto’o etc have described as the best they have seen for the World Cup. The facilities speak for themselves. Qatar 2022 World Cup is already turning a success even before the games. All eyes are on Hassan Al Thawadi to finish strongly the amazing work he started more than 10 years ago. He is the Secretary General, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy who was Chief Executive Officer in Qatar’s Bid Committee where he worked closely with Bid Chairman, His Excellency Sheikh Mojammed bin Hamad Al Thani.

They presented a bid world football governing body, FIFA, could not ignore. Having succeeded in winning the hosting right announced in 2010, Hassan Al Thawadi was in March 2011 appointed Secretary General of the Supreme Committee to deliver the amazing World Cup they told the world to dream about when they were still bidding for it. Al Thawadi wormed himself into FIFA family to master the workings of the organisation and football administration.

He has served in many organisations that have prepared him for the onerous task of delivering the most prestigious competition in the world. In 2013 he was appointed into FIFA’s World Cup Organsing Committee as Special Advisor and this is in addition to his position as chairman of 2022 FIFA World Cup LLC, the joint venture between FIFA and the Supreme Committee. Al Thawadi once served as General Counsel for Qatar Investment Authority(QIA) and Qatar Holding, bodies founded by State of Qatar in 2025 to strengthen national economy. His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamin bin Hmmad Al Thani still in 2020 appointed him into the board of Qatar Investment Authority. Al Thawadi holds board positions in National Tourism Council, at Katara Hospitality, Qatar International Islamic Bank and Msheireb properties.

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He is a Joint Advisory Board member at Northwestern University, Qatar and Council member at Hamad bin Khalifa University (College of Humanities and Social Sciences) and Qatar University (College of Business and Economics). He is a lawyer(graduate of law from University of Sheffield in UK) who speaks English, Spanish and French.

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His is simply the case of ‘who the cap fits, let him wear it.’ Hassan Al Thawadi has ‘lived’ the Qatar World Cup in the past 11 years. His life revolves around it. And he is flying with the times as far as the 2022 World Cup is concerned. He sits at the head of a committee that is out to present the best World Cup ever to the world. He is running a great race.

When issues were raised about labour conditions in Qatar, Hassan Al Thawadi was at the centre of reforms that have improved the lot of workers. The Supreme Committee knows about Vision 2030 of Qatar and the World Cup is helping to fast-track the economic development expected to make Qatar a bigger player in Middle East and the world in general. Hospitality business will never be the same in Qatar after the World Cup. Tourism will soar, trade and industry will be impacted. Qatar is already better for it as the transformation the country has passed through since 2010 has been tremendous. What with high rising structures, metro system, road expansions, healthcare?

Many marvel at the cooling technology at the stadiums, the beauty that is Al Bayt Stadium that will host the opening match, the masterpiece at Lusail and the ingenuity at Stadium 974. Qatar has a history of trade and Stadium 974 pays tribute to that with 974 containers used to ship things to the Middle East country.

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Interestingly 974 is the international dialing code of Qatar. Creativity has been their hallmark at the Supreme Committee. The hospitality suits at some of the stadiums wow visitors. Al Thawadi has garnered experience from many sectors – administration and organisation as seen with Fifa; business, hospitality, and even humanities as seen in many bodies he has served and continues to serve. He is driving the World Cup amazingly. Everybody is counting the remaining days. The moment is almost here and the world cannot wait to experience the Amazing World Cup Hassan Al Thawadi and his team have promised.

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2022 World Cup: Unwanted history for hosts Qatar against Ecuador

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Qatar on Sunday, became the first host country to be defeated in their opening game in the 92-year history of the World Cup.

Ecuador beat the Middle East country 2-0 courtesy of two first-half goals from captain Enner Valencia. Ecuador’s captain also saw a goal ruled out for offside. The result means Qatar become the first host nation ever to lose their opening game at a World Cup.

It’s obviously not the start Qatar will have wanted to make to a competition that had been plagued by controversy before a ball had even been kicked.

Supporters also made their feelings clear about the match at half-time as they abandoned the game in large numbers with the hosts already 2-0 down. Initial estimates suggest around 20,000 supporters left the game at the break.

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There were just 11 shots in this game (five for Qatar, six for Ecuador) – no World Cup match on record (since 1966) has seen fewer attempts.

The hosts return to action on Friday against Senegal.

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Victor Osimhen Bags Huge International Award And Recognition

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Nigeria and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen has received a huge international award and recognition for his relentless contribution at the international and club level.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen received a huge international award from the Globe Soccer Awards. The talented player was recognized for his immense contribution to both club and country.

He was crowned the Emerging Player Of The Year 2022, which was deserved on every level as the player has continued to show his importance at the club level for Napoli by contributing towards the impressive run of the club in the new season as well as the previous season.

Although the Super Eagles of Nigeria would not be going to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar, he had been one of the stand-out players for the Eagles in their qualifiers.

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Contragulations Victor.

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2022 World Cup: I am totally, absolutely focused on Portugal- Ronaldo says amid Man Utd criticism

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In the wake of his scathing interview about Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo declares that Portugal will be his “absolute focus” during the World Cup.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, in an interview with Piers Morgan for TalkTV, which will be made public in its entirety on Wednesday, criticised United manager Erik ten Hag, Ralf Rangnick, and senior officials at Old Trafford.

Ronaldo claimed that United had “betrayed” him and that the team had not advanced since Alex Ferguson left in 2013.

Man Utd react to Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan

After the interview, United reacted with a statement on Monday mentioning it and promising to respond “after the full facts have been established.”

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Prior to Portugal’s November 24 match against Ghana in Group H, the 37-year-old declared on Monday that his entire attention would be on playing for Portugal in Qatar.

“Total and absolute focus on national team work. United group, towards one objective: realise the dream of all Portuguese people!,” he posted on Instagram.

Despite missing United’s previous two games due to “illness,” he posted a photo of himself with his Portugal teammates during a training session.

Without Ronaldo, the Red Devils defeated Fulham 2-1 on Sunday, moving them up to fifth place in the Premier League, three points behind Tottenham with one game remaining.

In the Middle East, where Fernando Santos’ team will also play Uruguay and South Korea, Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo hopes to lead his nation to World Cup triumph.

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