Qatar 2022 headlines Infantino’s new year message

By Fred Edoreh

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has said the world needs the the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup as a major healing towards dousing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe.

This was contained in his new year message on the morning of December 31 as the world prepares to leap into 2022.

“Global attention will be on Qatar in November and December as the tournament is held for the 22nd time and the ground-breaking first edition in the Middle East,” Infantino pointed out.

“The finals will take place in a world that is very different from the one in which France lifted the trophy in Moscow four years ago and we know that the biggest stage of all will offer hope and inspiration to people around the world who have suffered difficult times through the pandemic.

“The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be a truly unique occasion to re-unite the World again in a celebration of football and social inclusion. We all need it!”

Infantino therefore wished the world and the football community the best of 2022.

“Wherever you are in the world and whatever your relationship with our beautiful game, I would like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy new year and that all your hopes and dreams are realised in 2022: a FIFA World Cup year.”

He assured to FIFA would continue to place premium on public health through its programmes and activities.

“Whether in the United Arab Emirates for the FIFA Club World Cup, Costa Rica for the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup, India for the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup or indeed Qatar, FIFA tournaments will continue to operate with the consideration that #HealthComesFirst.

“At the same time, we also continue to pledge solidarity with the whole football community in our daily action, as we are doing with our “COVID-19 Relief Plan” which was crucial to the survival of football in many of our Member Associations.”

Calling for solidarity and collaboration towards steadily uplifting the game, Infantino urged for continuous dialogue as the best way of engagement.

“Football has many different levels but in its magical essence it is the same game: the people’s game. For everyone. In every continent, every region, every country.

“FIFA is the only governing body that looks after and cares about the entire world. We will continue working hard to live up to the mission of not forgetting the ones who need most and who have no voice, while also protecting the healthy growth of everyone else and the global football movement.

“We continue to strive towards making football truly global through football and corporate governance, through competitions and events and through the development of our sport, widening its impact on the youth and wider society. For women and men, for girls and boys.

“2022 will be a year of action, but it will also be a year of dialogue. The new FIFA is a democratic body and together with our stakeholders, we will design the path for football’s future, making the game fit for purpose in the modern era and ensuring that we can boost global competitiveness.

“To do that, we count on the collective unity and strength among the football community in order to ensure that the future of our sport is globally sustainable.

“We count on the vast majority who is looking forward to new exciting opportunities to dream, to develop the game, to feel truly part of the global football community.

“And we count also on those at the top to show solidarity – without which, even football at its most elite would not exist. We thank them for their valuable contribution to the popularity of the game and we count on their support, respect and strategic vision as we strive to successfully conclude the discussions around reform of the international match calendar.

“We will work together for unity and the ultimate benefit of everyone.”