Fans attending matches during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020 were welcomed by a wide array of cultural and entertainment offerings as action unfolded during the tournament, which was hosted for the second time in Qatar earlier this month.
The FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™ Local Organising Committee (LOC) partnered with community groups and stakeholders, including the Ministry of Culture and Sports (MCS), the Qatar Olympic & Sports Museum (QOSM), Qatar Rail, Qatar Foundation and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, to deliver entertainment outside Education City and Ahmad Bin Ali stadiums. These included roving and pop-up performances representing Qatar’s diverse communities.
Khaled al-Suwaidi, the SC’s Stakeholder Relations Senior Manager, said: “Thanks to strong collaboration with our stakeholders and community groups, we enriched the fan experience for the thousands of local people who attended matches during the Club World Cup. Our aim was to showcase the best of Qatari culture and cuisine, along with the diversity our country is famous for – and I thank our partners for helping us to achieve exactly that.”
In addition to entertainment activities around the stadiums, the LOC collaborated with the MCS, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani Museum and QOSM to organise events for community groups of participating teams. These included folk costume workshops, stadium tours, culinary workshops and museum visits.
Ahmad al-Namla, CEO, Qatar Museums, said: "We are delighted to continue our successful collaboration with the LOC to develop programmes and experiences for communities that contribute to these sporting events. Our participation in the FIFA Club World Cup represents our continued activation and extensive presence to expand our engagement programmes by bringing people together at a time when it is really challenging.”
Meanwhile, the MCS oversaw a number of activities on match days, which will help to boost Qatar’s growing cultural sector, including encouraging fans to enjoy live drawings from local artists.
Maha Issa al-Rumaihi, Director of the Youth Affairs Department at the MCS, said: “Major international tournaments such as the FIFA Club World Cup receive wide media attention and coverage at the global level. For us, it serves as a great opportunity to showcase Qatari culture and identity to the world. In addition, we are highlighting our readiness to host the World Cup with impressive organisation, incredible stadiums and our extraordinary capabilities.”
Fans flocking to the stadiums also got the chance to enjoy performances by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Peter Huepping, Orchestra Manager, said: “This collaboration has aided our mission to foster appreciation of music in Qatar. It was great to perform at such iconic landmarks, such as Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, but as a member of Qatar Foundation, it was especially inspiring to perform at Education City Stadium because it felt like coming home.”
Claudio Cravero, Director at the Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani Museum, which welcomed members of Qatar’s German community to view a German car collection, said: “We are immensely grateful to the LOC for this remarkable collaboration. We both share a passion for community engagement to inspire people from near and far to learn, enjoy and appreciate local heritage and sport during the lead-up to Qatar 2022.”
Tasked with ensuring safe and smooth travel on match days, Qatar Rail collaborated with the LOC and various stakeholders to regulate movement, enforce social distancing and create an enjoyable atmosphere for fans arriving to the stadiums via the Doha Metro.
Ajlan al-Enazi, Chief of Strategy and Business Development at Qatar Rail, said: “The Doha Metro witnessed a remarkable turnout. We are pleased with this success during the Club World Cup in spite of the challenges brought forth by the pandemic.”
“For us, these tournaments represent an important opportunity to test operational readiness to deal with a large number of fans during sports competitions during their journey to and from the stadiums. They aid us in making adequate assessments of the level of service in general, measure the effectiveness of organisational plans that have been developed and prepare lessons learned to make improvements in preparation for the upcoming tournaments, specifically the 2022 World Cup,” added Enazi.
Earlier this year, the LOC invited a selection of fans to share their excitement for the competition and show support for their teams by taking part in videos promote the tournament. Fans were also given a unique opportunity to welcome their teams upon their arrival at Hamad International Airport.
Tigres UANL fans were invited to participate in a Q&A session with midfielder Leonardo Fernández. During the final, the LOC, in partnership with Awsaj Academy, Renad Academy and the Qatar Rehabilitation Institute, oversaw the delivery of a new sensory room at Education City Stadium.
As the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ draws closer, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) continues to engage thousands of people in Qatar in plans and preparations for the long-awaited mega-event.