The economic blockade on Qatar ends – the 2022 World Cup is truly an Arab World Cup!

With regional cooperation set to intensify after the end of the economic blockade on Qatar, what impact does it have on the 2022 World Cup?

Last week, a three-and-a-half-year economic blockade against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and three of its regional allies ended.

The end of the restrictions means that regional diplomatic and economic relations will be restored between Qatar and its neighboring countries. And this development will also have an impact on football, especially the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar, set to host the very first World Cup to be held in the Arab world, have worked hard to prepare for the event in earnest. They have already opened four of the eight venues planned for the World Cup, except for related infrastructure projects, including metro line extensions and more.

The stadiums feature cutting edge technology like advanced cooling technology and more. Safe to say from what has been seen the awesome stadiums are set to offer fans a very memorable World Cup experience.

The other sites are also progressing on schedule, along with other related projects. The fact that Qatar has accomplished all of this while caught in the midst of a global pandemic speaks volumes about its resilience.

With the added inconvenience of the economic blockade ended, the Middle Eastern nation is hoping to seriously step up preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), the organization responsible for delivering the 2022 World Cup, has always maintained that the 2022 World Cup is a tournament that will unite the world, especially in a situation post-pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected life all over the world with major events including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed. The 2022 World Cup was to be one of the biggest sporting events that would have given fans a cause to celebrate in a world which would hopefully have had access to the Covid-19 vaccine by then.

Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the SC, had said earlier (in a conversation with James Worrall, CEO and founder of Leaders): “It may sound idealistic, but Covid-19 has made us realize that we are all creatures social. The impact on our mental health, the uncertainty, social distancing, the inability to engage with each other – everyone misses human interaction. I’ve always dreamed big and said it was a World Cup to bring people together – and God knows, after Covid, we have to get back together. We have to overcome this and celebrate collectively during Qatar 2022. “

Al Thawadi also expressed hope at the time that the economic blockade imposed on Qatar would end soon, helping them celebrate the first Middle East World Cup in a truly decent way with their neighbors.

“The support of the people of the region – especially the stranded countries – is there. People are very excited about the tournament. I hope the stranded countries lift travel restrictions. There are no restrictions from Qatar. I hope they will remove them for once – a unique opportunity for the people of our region. “

Now that the blockade has ended, it looks like Al Thawadi’s wish is coming true.

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino also said after the blockade ended that football would bring the region closer together. “Football has shown throughout this crisis that it is a unique platform for exchange for the people of the Gulf and I am sure that the game will continue to unite the region in the near future”, declared the Swiss official.

Cooperation between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has already started to show itself on the sports scene. As the two countries initially vie for the rights to host the 2030 Asian Games, they recently decided to come to a compromise with Doha hosting the 2030 event and Riyadh to host the 2034 edition.

As Qatar continues to build a legacy with its stated goal of “Deliver Amazing” for the 2022 World Cup, the forward-looking cooperation of its neighbors will be a big boost to their World Cup work, with the event in a little less than two years.