FIFA Arab Cup™ golden opportunity to test FIFA World Cup™ preparations
The FIFA Arab Cup™ has provided Qatar with a golden opportunity to fine-tune its preparations ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup™, stated tournament organizers on Sunday following the completion of the quarter-finals this weekend.
Executives from the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC (Q22) and the Qatar 2022 Safety & Security Operations Committee (SSOC) discussed a range of key topics during the press conference, including tournament venues, transportation, security and ticketing, among others.
Speakers included Abdulaziz Al Mawlawi, Host Country Mobility Operations Director, SC, Jassim Al Jassim, Deputy Chief Operations Officer, Q22, and Colonel Jassim Al Sayed, Executive Director of the Office of the Deputy Chairman of the SSOC.
Al Mawlawi said, “The tournament has provided a golden opportunity to test preparations ahead of the World Cup and all relevant infrastructure. We have tested all our transport infrastructure, which included Qatar Rail operating 71,000 journeys and running for 21 hours per day, rather than the usual 17 hours. In addition, Ashghal provided 62,000 parking spaces for fans, while Hamad International Airport operated a dedicated terminal to welcome the 15 visiting teams.”
Al Mawlawi continued, “Our workforce totalled 1,100 from 54 countries in addition to 5,000 volunteers from 90 countries, including 100 people from Oman. We also issued 200,000 Fan IDs, which will help us to provide the best possible service in 2022.”
The Fan ID process covered the first 16 matches. A detailed review will now take place, with further updates about the program in relation to the FIFA World Cup™ to be announced in due course.
Al Jassim said, “We have hosted 28 matches so far during the largest event to take place ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup. We have learned many important lessons – in relation to stadiums, training site operations and Fan ID. We thank all our strategic stakeholders, including the Ministry of Public Health, who have helped us to safely organise the tournament during the ongoing pandemic. So far, we have allocated more than 560,000 tickets for all matches, with many fans and media attending more than one match a day throughout the tournament.”
One of the main achievements has been the number of tickets allocated, which exceeded 560,000 following the quarter-finals, with the total including Friday’s match between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, which attracted a record crowd of 63,439. This was the highest attendance ever for a sporting event in Qatar.
While Qatar versus the UAE was the most popular match, the best-selling matches not involving the host nation were Algeria versus Egypt and Tunisia versus Egypt, both of which exceeded 93 percent of the available tickets.
Approximately 89 percent of all the tickets sold were purchased by Qatar residents, while the top international ticket holders came from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
More than 1,000 media accreditations were issued along with 252 filming applications.
Around 25 percent of fans used public transport – either the Doha Metro or shuttle bus services – to attend matches, while there were more than 680,000 journeys on the metro in order to attend special activations along the Doha Corniche. Around 83% of fans took the Doha Metro to attend the match between Egypt and Sudan at Stadium 974.
The SSOC, which includes representatives from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence and Lekhwiya, developed an integrated strategy to ensure the safety of all tournament participants, including officials, teams and fans. The SSOC was tasked with securing all tournament venues, including stadiums and media centres, ensuring smooth transport for stakeholders and ensuring no prohibited items were taken into stadiums.
Colonel Al Sayed said, “With a few days to go until the final whistle, there have been no problems or crises. All the security operations have gone as planned. Our security units will continue their efforts in collaboration with various stakeholders to ensure the safety and security of all fans attending the final matches.”
Tickets for the semi-finals and final can be purchased here.
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