FIFA 2022's unifying influence highlighted at UN
SC’s secretary general Hassan Al Thawadi delivered a keynote speech outlining the positive influence the FIFA 2022 will have on the region
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) highlighted the uniting influence of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
SC’s secretary general Hassan Al Thawadi delivered a keynote speech, alongside UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and took the opportunity to address an international audience in the opening session of a panel on ‘The Value of Hosting Mega Sport Events as a Social, Economic and Environmental Sustainable Development Tool’, The Peninsula reported.
“Football plays a vital role in our communities. Multiple countries, multiple cultures, multiple religions – and across the Middle East I can assure you that passion for football unites us like nothing else can,” said Al Thawadi.
He said that the tournament is for the Middle East, not Qatar alone and added “We believe that this is the perfect time for an event of this magnitude to be held in our region.”
He continued that med on TV reveals an environment “that appears to be ravaged by extreme and divisive rhetoric,” and added, “It would suggest we live in a world where differences between peoples are exacerbated and utilised to enhance conflict rather than being celebrated.”
Ban Ki-moon highlighted the importance of creating sustainable legacies for major tournaments: “Mega sports events have always contributed to sustainable change,” he said.
He called on the role of hosts to “integrate sustainability at their core. Let us work together so that the motto of all mega events in the future is cleaner, greener and more sustainable.”
Nasser Al Khater, assistant secretary general, Tournament Affairs, SC, later took part in a panel on challenges and opportunities associated with a landmark event such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“We’re confident that over the next six years everyone will see this World Cup will be a driver to push on progress which will have a direct impact on the future of this country.”
Key sporting and political figures from all over the world, attended the session and also present were Laksmi Puri, UN assistant secretary-general and acting head of UN Women; Wilfried Lemke, special adviser on Sport Development and Peace; basketball legend Dikembe Mutombo; and 12-time German Gold medallist Paralympian Verena Bentele.