January 25, 2022

FIFA World Cup 2022: Qatar 2022 CEO Impressed by Indian Football Market and the ISL

2 min read

Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al-Khater praised Indian sports fans when asked about their growing appreciation for football. The Qatari official said on Thursday that the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers had begun to gain some ground in the country and that the people aren’t considering cricket as the only sport of note to them.

Al-Khater told a gathering of media that India is beginning to develop as a “huge football market” and the Indian Super League is also beginning to produce a more interesting football match. He added how Indians were previously all about cricket but football is starting to take a foothold in the country.

Hope for More Visitors

Aside from being the CEO of the World Cup Committee, Al-Khater also holds the position of Assistant Secretary General for Tournament Operations within the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy. He added that the country should expect a sizable contingent of Indian visitors during the World Cup.

When asked about a comparison, he cited the U-17 World Cup crowd as an example. It was there that he said he saw the growing awareness about football in Indian youth as well as the growing popularity of the sport among those gathered. He added that the interest from their Indian visitors will be “huge.”

Battling Negative Misconceptions

Qatar has earned a lot of criticisms since winning the right to host the 2022 World Cup. Al-Khater was quick to dispel some of these, adding that the suspicion among international media that the country had a lackluster football history wasn’t true. He also said that their country’s size in relation to hosting the quadrennial event has some advantages.

The world is still trying to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic which some countries are still having troubles battling. Even then, Al-Khater promised 12BET online sports betting fanatics and fans of football in general that they have protocols in place to make sure all visitors, players, and officials visiting the country for the games remain safe.

Preparations are in Place

Aside from keeping the fans safe, the official said that they are looking into ways on how they can also look out for the welfare of the visitors while in the country. Those that watched the World Cup qualifiers and will be watching the World Cup live will be accommodated in real estate properties and hotels that will cater to every possible need, he said.

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