Nasser Al-Khater, Qatar 2022 CEO: "Three workers have died building World Cup stadiums"
Nasser Al-Khater, the chief executive of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, spoke to several media outlets, including AS.
Nasser Al-Khater, the CEO of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, spoke to several media outlets from across the globe, including AS, at the headquarters of the event’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in Doha on Thursday. "This tournament will be a tournament that welcomes everybody, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation," he said in reference to his recent controversial interview with CNN and the country’s stance on homosexuality.
Al-Khater also addressed claims over the number of workers that have lost their lives during the construction of stadiums for Qatar 2022: “Three workers have died due to work-related incidents. The Guardian and whoever have been spreading the news that 4,000 workers have died building World Cup stadiums. 6,500 was a number that we’ve heard. We have consistently gone out to say that these numbers are absolutely false. We do not recognise these numbers […]. These numbers are not contextual, they’re not nuanced enough.” He added: “This is something that we publish on the website; it’s transparent, it’s open for everybody to see. Three workers have died building World Cup stadiums.”
Another issue that Al-Khater addressed was talk in several northern European countries of a boycott against Qatar 2022. “We’re focusing on having a successful tournament and a successful World Cup. Countries or fans or federations are free to do what they please to do,” he said.
The tournament chief acknowledged that the next World Cup will be very different to others: “[We expect] about 1.2 to 1.5 million [fans]. We have a variety of accommodation options […]. From the very beginning, we’ve said that this World Cup represents the Middle East [...]. I think if we look at the people and football lovers, they really feel that this World Cup is representative of the entire region.”
Al-Khater also provided some details on the logistics of Qatar 2022: “This is the first World Cup that you can watch more than one match a day [at the stadium]. We believe that fans that do want to watch more than one match a day will probably opt for two. But if you really want to, you can watch four matches a day. I went to four matches yesterday myself [at the 2021 Arab Cup in Qatar]. FIFA President Gianni Infantino over two days has watched eight matches. He’s been to every single match at this tournament. So if you’re a die-hard fan and you want to watch four matches, and provided that you have tickets, you can do that.”
Al-Khater also clarified that FIFA rules state national teams must be based within Qatar during the World Cup. They cannot establish their camps in a neighbouring country and travel to games from there.
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