Qatar Football AssociationNews
03.02.2015 16:20 in :

DOHA: Three Arab football legends joined a chorus of dignitaries, diplomats, athletes and fans in visiting Qatar in recent weeks and finding out more about the plans and progress ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) welcomed Egyptian striker Ahmed Hossam ‘Mido’, three-time Tunisian FIFA World Cup™ participant Hatem Trabelsi and Moroccan legend Youssef Chippo, all of whom played at major European clubs and left lasting impressions in their respective national teams.

Mido’s career started at Ajax Amsterdam before moving on to Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, Wigan, West Ham and Spanish side Celta de Vigo, as well as Roma in the Italian Serie A.

“The World Cup in Qatar is very important for the Arab world,” Mido told www.sc.qa. “It is our chance to show the world that we can organise something special, we can organise a massive event such as the World Cup. All the Arab countries are behind Qatar and we are delighted that the World Cup will be here in the Middle East. We all will be very proud if we have a successful tournament here.”

The prolific former striker added that he would like to take his national team to the tournament in a different role: “Playing at the World Cup was always my dream. We tried a couple of times, but I wish I had made the World Cup. I am now a manager and hopefully I will have the chance to coach Egypt one day to a World Cup, maybe in 2022.”

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Meanwhile Chippo, who represented Morocco at France 98, and played his club football with Porto and Coventry City, said: “Qatar’s use of cooling technology will delight all visitors to Qatar in 2022. When the Morroccan national team participated in 1994 at the World Cup in the USA, it was hot and the high temperatures exhausted the team. I think that this cooling technology will add more comfort to the tournament.”

Calling Qatar a global capital of sport following the recent successful hosting of the 24th Handball World Championships, as well as other major sporting events, Chippo added that observation missions such as those the SC and other Qatari stakeholders conducted in Brazil and Australia at recent tournaments would further enhance the experience in 2022.

Tunisia’s Trabelsi played for Ajax Amsterdam before moving to Manchester City and took part in three editions of the FIFA World Cup™: France 98, South Korea and Japan 2002, and Germany 2006. Trabelsi, who had trials at Arsenal and Liverpool during his career, added that Qatar has all the ingredients for hosting a successful tournament after hosting a wonderful Handball World Cup in 2015: “Qatar is ahead in many ways, in organisation too, and this is very clear and you can see this with the Handball World Cup. Right now it represents all the Arab countries by hosting the World Cup. Its success is the success of all the Arab countries, and this opens up doors for them to host the World Cup in the future.”

Talking about the opportunity for fans to see more than one match a day during the tournament, Mido said: “It’s an opportunity that will only be available in Qatar, there are many advantages in organizing the World Cup in Qatar. I am sure it will be one of the most successful tournaments in history.”