The 2022 FIFA World Cup has officially entered tournament delivery mode after Qatar and FIFA announced the launch of a new joint venture to organise the event.
The ‘FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC’ (joint venture) was unveiled as the body responsible for delivering the first FIFA World Cup in the Arab world after the nine-member management board met for the first time on Tuesday in Doha.
The new delivery model will capitalise on the planning expertise the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has built up since winning the right to host the tournament in 2010, according to a statement issued by the SC.
Combined with FIFA’s extensive tournament expertise, this innovative model of delivering world football’s premier event aims to ensure an optimum World Cup experience for fans, players and officials in 2022.
While the joint venture focuses on tournament delivery, the SC will continue to manage the development of event infrastructure, along with the various legacy programmes.
Hassan al-Thawadi, who will combine his role as SC secretary general with chairman of the joint venture, said: “The formation of this new joint venture comes at a strategically important time on Qatar’s World Cup project as we complete our various infrastructure projects, such as stadiums and training sites, and turn our attention to finalising the unique fan and player experience that Qatar 2022 will provide.”
He said he was "confident that the combination of FIFA’s extensive tournament experience, and our own tactical experience and the nine years’ hard work already invested in the project will ensure that the first FIFA World Cup in the Arab world is one of the best ever.”
Nasser al-Khater, the SC’s chief of Tournament Readiness & Experience Group and CEO of the joint venture, said: “Qatar’s World Cup project is entering its final phase and we’re all very pleased to launch this new organisation and collectively develop the best possible operational plans for 2022.
“In less than four years’ time, we will be welcoming the participating teams and over 1mn fans to Qatar for the world’s biggest single-sport event. It is the work we do now which will ensure the experience we deliver is unlike anything previously witnessed at a tournament. I look forward to leading this innovative joint venture with FIFA and the work it will be undertaking in the years to come.”
Creating a joint venture forms part of FIFA’s vision to create an organisation that streamlines the operational delivery of the World Cup. The management board of the new entity will be composed of FIFA’s secretary general Fatma Samoura, FIFA’s two deputy secretaries general Zvonimir Boban and Alasdair Bell, FIFA’s chief tournaments & events officer Colin Smith, and FIFA’s chief legal officer Emilio Garcia Silvero, as well as al-Thawadi, al-Khater, chairman of the Operational Office and the vice chairman of the Technical Operational Office Yasir al-Jamal and QFA vice president Saoud al-Mohannadi.
Samoura said: “Today we take a major step in the organisation of the biggest single-sport event in the world. Created in accordance with the FIFA president’s vision and together with our Qatari counterparts, the joint venture aims to reorganise the way we work at the operational front and avoid inefficiencies. I am convinced that this new approach to planning, delivery and legacy, always hand-in-hand with our colleagues based in Qatar, will help to ensure that the World Cup continues to be the most eagerly awaited event by billions of fans worldwide.”
Colin Smith, managing director of the joint venture, said: “The continuous growth and complexities of a FIFA World Cup and the need for integrated involvement of all key areas across a host country has made it clear that a more efficient and optimised operational structure is required - this is particularly the case in Qatar, given the unique and compact nature of the tournament, both in terms of the opportunities and challenges that come along with it.”
Smith said “the Qatar-based joint venture that will plan and deliver the next FIFA World Cup will work together with FIFA in Zurich as one team and combine, at all levels, the event experience we have there with invaluable knowledge from our colleagues in Qatar. It is a very important step, which shows how FIFA and Qatar are working together to deliver a successful and memorable event.”
Prior to the first board meeting taking place, the nine-member management board was greeted by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani, president of the Qatar Football Association (QFA), who congratulated them on the formation of the new joint venture and the achievement of yet another Qatar World Cup milestone.
Sheikh Hamad and the board members then joined Mansoor al-Ansari, QFA general secretary and Hani Balan, CEO of the Qatar Stars League (QSL), to officially inaugurate the organisation’s new offices located at Al Bidda Tower, the same building where the SC, QFA and QSL offices are based.