With just over two years to go until the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) have formed a new strategic partnership with Concacaf, the governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
The partnership will see the QFA the SC play an important role in all levels of football and sport across the Concacaf region and help deliver long-term football for development programmes across the region.
Firstly, the partnership includes Qatar’s participation as a guest nation in the region’s top football competition, the Concacaf Gold Cup, in both 2021 and 2023. The reigning AFC Asian Cup champions will make their Gold Cup debut in July of next year after their second appearance as a guest nation at the Copa America, South America’s top football competition, next year.
The national team’s appearance marks another important football development milestone on the road to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and will help further prepare the team ahead of their first match as host nation on Qatar on 21 November 2022.
The partnership also includes long-term involvement in the region’s football for development initiatives through the SC’s flagship human and social legacy programme, Generation Amazing, and the Concacaf NextPlay programme. In particular, the partnership will have a significant focus on community coach development, which will benefit thousands of young people across the region, and help ensure a lasting human legacy for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
“The Concacaf Gold Cup is a prestigious tournament and we’re thrilled Qatar has been invited to compete in the 2021 and 2023 editions,” said QFA President, H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Thani. “Qatar’s participation in the tournament next year takes place just 17 months before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicks off, so it will be a great opportunity to help further prepare the national team ahead of their opening World Cup match on 21 November 2022.
“Winning the 2019 AFC Asian Cup marked an important milestone in our development plan, and so we head into the Gold Cup confident that we can compete with Concacaf’s best teams. We look forward to the competition.”
H.E Hassan Al Thawadi
SC Secretary General, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, commented on the long-term football for development partnership between the SC’s Generation Amazing Programme and Concacaf’s NextPlay Programme.
“Generation Amazing uses the power of football to create sustainable social development in communities around the world. Since it was launched as part of Qatar’s bid to host the FIFA World Cup™, it has positively impacted the lives of more than 500,000 people around the world.
Looking to the future and the further expansion of this important legacy project, we are excited to announce this strategic partnership with the Concacaf’s own football for development programme, to ensure the growth of both initiatives and deliver a greater impact on the lives of even more people, in even more countries. Most importantly, this partnership will help ensure a sustainable, lasting tournament legacy in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, well after the last ball is kicked in 2022.”
Al Thawadi added, “From a footballing perspective, it will be great to see Qatar’s national team take on some of the world’s best when they meet in the 2021 edition of the Gold Cup, ahead of their historic participation on home turf at the FIFA World Cup 2022.”
Since 2009, Generation Amazing has used football for development initiatives to address social issues in countries with an identified need, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Through the construction of community football pitches, the delivery of comprehensive football for development training and the involvement of young people, the programme promotes sustainable behaviours among young people in Qatar and around the world.
As hosts of the next FIFA World Cup, the collaboration will also provide multiple knowledge sharing opportunities between the organizing bodies of Qatar 2022 and the FIFA World Cup 2026, which will take place in the Concacaf region.
Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani, commented on the Qatar national team’s invitation to play in the 2021 and 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup completions.
In 2017 we entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Asian Football Confederation which has been mutually beneficial for both regions, and paved the way for this important agreement between Concacaf, the Qatar Football Association and the Supreme Committee.
“The Qatar National Team will be a guest participant in the Concacaf Gold Cup, the flagship men’s international competition in our region. We look forward to welcoming them and we know that as reigning AFC Asian Cup Champions they will provide stern opposition for our national teams.
This innovative partnership with the QFA and the SC includes a significant football development and social responsibility component, offering huge benefits to the game across the Concacaf region. It will also provide a great knowledge sharing opportunity between the hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2022, and our region as we look to harness the full benefits of hosting the event in 2026,” added Montagliani.