FIFA President Gianni Infantino praised Qatar's infrastructure progress and described the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ as a unique opportunity for football fans to experience a new culture and region during a whistle-stop tour of the country.
Infantino visited Al Wakrah Stadium before taking a helicopter ride to view the other seven proposed tournament venues and several training sites. He arrived in Al Wakrah after becoming one of the first people to travel on the new Doha Metro, which will open to the public by the end of the year. He travelled from Doha Exhibition & Convention Centre in West Bay to Al Wakrah, a journey south which took approximately 20 minutes.
During an interview at Al Wakrah Stadium, a 40,000 capacity venue which will host matches up to the quarter-finals stage in 2022, Infantino said: "The stadium here is very impressive. When you enter here you can immediately feel how imposing it is, and you can see the progress which is being made here four years before kick-off."
Infantino said Qatar's tournament had massive potential to break down cultural stereotypes and bring people together through football.
"I think this World Cup is extremely important, not only for Qatar but for the whole region – a region that has a passion for football and is investing a lot in the game.
"This World Cup is a unique opportunity – a chance to show the world what this region can offer; for football, but also for anybody in the world to come and visit a beautiful place, learn about a new culture and meet new people.
"In this world, especially in the current climate, it is very much needed that we open our doors and discover new places."