A throwback to Russia 2018, looking ahead at Qatar 2022

  • Russia 2018 LOC meet in Zurich to debrief on World Cup

  • Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and LOC join them

  • "Qatar will be an incredibly creative and remarkable host," said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura

Three months after France lifted the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ and a great sense of achievement took over the Russian people following such a successful event, key members of the Local Organising Committee’s operational staff gathered with FIFA in Zurich from 11 to 12 October to debrief on the tournament. Joining the 30 participants from Moscow and eager to assimilate the main lessons learnt by the previous hosts, were another 26 experts from Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and the Local Organising Committee.

“Our aim was to ensure that everything – achievements and challenges – is translated into constructive learnings for the future, knowing that not every single aspect from Russia 2018 will be applicable to Qatar 2022,” said FIFA Secretary General, Fatma Samoura. “There are many ways to organise a fantastic FIFA World Cup: with Russia, we found one; and I have no doubt that Qatar will be an incredibly creative and remarkable host.”

“The debriefing was a great opportunity for key colleagues from the Russian LOC and FIFA to reunite and, with the benefit of hindsight, delve into the detail of the planning and delivery of the 2018 World Cup in order to assess the relevance of key learnings for Qatar. The debriefing marked the closure of one chapter and passed the operational baton to Qatar where preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are already in full swing,” added FIFA’s Chief Tournament & Events Officer, Colin Smith.

FIFA’s Chief Tournament & Events Officer Colin Smith speaks at the Russia 2018 debrief in Zurich.

The two-day debriefing started with a general introductory session, followed by focus groups that highlighted best practices and lessons learnt from areas such as infrastructure, venue management, volunteers, waste management, security, logistics and communications.

“We are very happy that the World Cup in Russia was globally acclaimed as a huge success,” celebrated the CEO of the 2018 FIFA World Cup LOC, Alexey Sorokin. “Not only did the event leave lasting bright and joyful memories for the fans from all around the world, but it has also already proved to be a catalyst for many positive changes in our country – in football, in terms of economics and also in the social realm.”

“The debrief session shed further light on what made the 2018 FIFA World Cup such a fantastic event. The lessons we learned from this session and from our participation in observation programmes during the tournament will play an important role in our preparation for 2022. Russia set a very high standard for us to follow and their success serves as inspiration for us as we prepare for and look forward to hosting the Middle East’s first FIFA World Cup in four years’ time,” said Secretary General of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, HE Hassan Al Thawadi."