FIFA President says tournament will be an occasion to celebrate
Final Draw mapped out the road to glory at the FIFA World Cup™ in Doha
Mr Infantino addressed a global audience with his pre-draw speech
President Gianni Infantino previewed a FIFA World Cup™ that can bring people together in a celebration of football in his address to attendees at the Final Draw in Doha, also telling a global audience that “the world will be united in Qatar". Twenty-nine participating teams would learn their path to glory during the ceremony, with the participants in European and Intercontinental play-offs later this year also knowing what awaits them if they are successful in their ties and earn the chance to write glorious new chapters in the 92-year history of the tournament.
“What an emotion it is to be here: now it’s getting serious, now we know that it is for real, now the [FIFA] World Cup is going to start,” opened the FIFA President. “That’s why I wish you all: ahlan wa sahlan, bienvenue, bienvenidos, willkommen, welcome. Welcome to Doha. Welcome to this draw. “This will simply be the best World Cup ever. The greatest show on Earth will have over three million spectators here and over five billion people watching it at home. The world will be united in Qatar and for this reason, my thanks go to the people of Qatar, to His Highness, the Emir, and to the people of the Gulf and the Arab world: shukran jazilan [thank you very much] for putting together this incredible event.” Central to the FIFA President’s vision for football is that the sport uses its platform to make a positive impact on worldwide society and the speech concluded with a poignant message to global leaders, calling for peace ahead of a tournament that will break down cultural barriers.
“Today, and in these times, we face some turbulence around the world,” Mr Infantino added. “Our world is aggressive, and we need occasions to bring people together in peace and to celebrate: the World Cup will be exactly that. “And since we know that hundreds of millions of people are watching this draw and many leaders of the world are watching, our plea, the plea of the world football community to all the leaders and all the people of the world is: stop the conflicts and the wars, please. Please engage in dialogue. Please engage in peace, because we want this to be the World Cup of unity and the World Cup of peace.”