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2022-DAY COUNTDOWN MARKED

AFC members extend full support to Qatar as
2022-day countdown is marked.

Qatar Fifa World Cup wins full backing from AFC

MANAMA, May 11, 2017

With exactly 2022 days to go until the 2022 Fifa World Cup Qatar kicks off, Qatar has received the whole-hearted backing of key members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) attending its 2017 Congress in Bahrain.

After AFC president Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa called the 2022 Fifa World Cup the “crowning glory of future football competitions in Asia”, senior football administrators from two of Asia’s biggest economies, India and South Korea, united in expressing continental solidarity behind the biggest sporting event in the Middle East.

Hours after being elected to the Fifa Council, South Korea Football Association President Chung Mong-gyu said that his country supported Qatar’s hosting plans and hoped the tournament will leave behind a significant continental football legacy for Qatar, just as the 2002 tournament had done for his nation.

“I am pleased that Asia's second ever World Cup will kick-off in Qatar in 2022 days. As a Fifa council member from the continent, I will be following Qatar's preparations with great interest and will support the World Cup in my continent,” President Chung Mong-gyu said.  

“I remember the first time Asia co-hosted the World Cup in 2002 in my homeland South Korea. The event was a massive success and our country gained a lot by hosting the tournament. The biggest 2002 legacy for my country was the performance of the national team in reaching the semi-final and the world class facilities left for our clubs to shine at the highest level in Asia.”

He continued: “The good showing of our clubs in the AFC Champions League subsequently proves that 2002 helped the development of Korean football. I hope that the same process happens in Qatar and across Asia at large after 2022.”

Meanwhile, AFC Senior Vice President and President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Praful Patel said India was looking forward to working with Qatar and continuing a long-standing relationship.    
He said: “As AFC senior vice-president and AIFF president, I fully support the Qatar Football Association and SC in their efforts to make the tournament a huge success. I am pleased that Qatar will be hosting Asia’s second ever Fifa World Cup in 2022 days in November 2022.”

President Patel recalled India’s historic relationship with Qatar. “India’s relationship with Qatar goes back centuries and Indians have made a significant contribution towards the emergence of Qatar as a major economy in the Middle East. Indians living in Qatar will play a significant role in making the 2022 World Cup a success,” he added.

He also praised the SC’s strong commitment on the topic of workers’ welfare. He said: “I have noted with great satisfaction that the SC has welcomed the recent positive report by its third party auditor on the matter of further improving working and living conditions of construction workers, many of whom are Indians, involved in building 2022 World Cup stadiums.”

Patel concluded: “As India prepares to host the Fifa Under-17 World Cup in October with a great deal of emphasis on legacy initiatives, we will look to further engage with friendly countries such as Qatar and strive to make football in Asia a dominant force on the world stage in the next decade.”

The AFC Congress also saw support for 2022 coming from the President of the football association of yet another country with a vast expatriate population in Qatar – the Philippines.

Mariano V Araneta Jr, the continent’s third newly elected member to the Fifa Council, told www.sc.qa that the people of the Philippines and the nearly 300,000-strong Filipino community in Qatar are proud the tournament will taking place there.

“I am pleased to be elected to the Fifa Council on a day that marks the special occasion of 2022 days to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar,” said Araneta.

“The whole of Asia will support Qatar as it continues its preparations to host the continent’s second World Cup. People of the Philippines and the vast Filipino expatriate community in Qatar take pride in Qatar’s distinction and will extend full support to the tournament.” - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Asian Football | AFC |

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