Gianni Infantino: FIFA Arab Cup set to continue

  • 60,456 at Al Bayt Stadium witness Algeria winning the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup

  • Mr Infantino: “Under the umbrella of FIFA, the FIFA Arab Cup will continue”

  • Half-time ceremony takes place to honour front line health workers

As a thrilling inaugural edition of the FIFA Arab Cup concluded with Algeria defeating Tunisia 2-0 in the final after extra time, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has confirmed that the tournament is here to stay. 16 teams from Africa and Asia battled it out for the first trophy on the pathway to the first final at Al Bayt Stadium and Mr Infantino told beIN SPORTS prior to the final that the tournament has a role to play in uniting people from across the region in the future. “We will make it possible, under the umbrella of FIFA: the FIFA Arab Cup will continue,” said Mr Infantino. “It has to continue [because] it’s such a successful event.”

“It is proof of what football can do; bringing continents together, bringing people together, bringing countries together, bringing fans together, and bringing players together,” the President continued. “This joy, this emotion, which we have been feeling throughout this tournament - not only in Qatar but in the entire Arab World and all over the world.” “We will discuss how and under which conditions, but it will continue with the best players playing in this competition,” Mr Infantino added.

AL KHOR, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021 Final match between Tunisia and Algeria at Al Bayt Stadium on December 18, 2021 in Al Khor, Qatar. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/FIFA)

The final, which attracted a crowd of 60,456, also included a half-time ceremony where the FIFA President made an on-the-pitch medal presentation to a group of front line health workers who have been supporting the local effort to tackle the coronavirus. “It was great to have the opportunity to meet with people who have been making sacrifices to ensure that our society can continue to function beyond COVID,” the FIFA President said. “They have told us to put health first and I commend them for their tireless commitment and dedication during these difficult times.”