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Qatar 2022 Bid: India signals opening ceremony spectacle

By Onochie Anibeze in Doha
Qatar Bid Committee for the 2022 World Cup has continued to spread their message round the world just as more countries are joining forces to back the country that has vowed to present a unique World Cup that will ever remain green in the memories of the football world.

Two days after Brazilian President visited Qatar and spoke more football than politics, pledging their support, the India community in Qatar demonstrated their support in a carnival that gave splendid indications of what the opening and closing ceremonies could be like if they win the bid.

FIFA  will  announce the winners of the 2018 and 2022 bids in December.The Indians here simply gave a tip of the iceberg, yet it was a spectacle.  M. E. S. a senior Indian secondary school with up to 10,000 students staged a show to demonstrate the support of India to the Qatar Bid. Second Secretary of the India High Commission here in Qatar,  Mr. M. R.  Qureshi , represented their country and left the event  proud of the spectacular performance of the school that Sheikh Nasser al Khater, the director of communications of the Bid described as “amazing.” Interestingly, the catch word for the Qatar Bid is EXPECT AMAZING.

“What an amazing show you have put up this morning,” Al Khater said in a closing remark.
“I had a speech for you but what you have demonstrated today has made me speechless. Our slogan is Expect Amazing but you are already doing amazing things.

These are the things that drive us to put in our best to ensure the World Cup comes here in 2022. I’m sure that if the governing body of Fifa were here today, they would not hesitate to give the hosting right for the 2022 World Cup to us. What you have done today is sensational and the best I have seen so far,” Al Khater said of the show that included a beautiful theme song in support of the bid, a march past of students that represented 197 countries that belong to Fifa, aerobics, calisthenics and other performances that were spiced with the typical India cultural displays that portrays them as the prism of the entertainment industry globally.

The School music band performed the theme song that started with a soothing melody and developed into some orchestration that vibrated so rhythmically, swaying the  entire crowd at the school play ground into some  jiggling. The acting of the World Cup history in a colorful formation on the field marked out by a map of Qatar attracted a standing ovation.

A huge soccer balloon ball sailed to each group of kids representing each host from Uruguay in 1930 to South Africa. Interestingly, the balloon had “Qatar 2022” inscribed on it.  MES was so spectacular that a World Cup opening ceremony mood caught up with the crowd.  “If a school could do this to show support for the Bid what will happen in the World Cup if they get the bid is better imagined than said here,” one European journalist said.

“India has the largest community here in Qatar, so we are part of the bid for Qatar to host the World Cup. We are massively behind it and we hope it comes to Qatar,” Qureshi said in the massive school compound as all left with high expectations of a possible  World Cup in Qatar when the students who performed would have been adults and may not, as students, be part of the show that they have shown so much passion. That is life.

Al Khater was accompanied by Sheikhs Sultan, the director of international affairs and Khalid Al Kubaisi, the director of finance.

Last Friday in Zurich when they presented their bid, Sheikh Mohamed  bin Hamad al Thani, the chairman of the Bid Committee told  Fifa that “public support at home and across the region is overwhelming    and our bid represents hopes and dreams of the Middle East and the Arab world .”

Al Kheter  has continued to harp on the legacy hosting the World Cup in Qatar will leave behind.

“The most important feature of our bid is the deep legacy it would have, and this is in no way limited to the region.  It will be the first ever World Cup in the Middle East, and would go a long way in bridging cultural divides between east and west that are often inhibited by ignorance, politics and war. We want to show the world our unique blend of traditional Arab culture and hospitality mixed with breathtaking modernity and progress,” he told the Gulf times here.

Qatar plans to build stadiums some of which will be dismantled after the World Cup and given to developing countries. They also plan to develop cooling technology in open stadiums which will all be linked by metro lines.

The compactness of the event will be such that fans can stay in one part of the country and be able to watch games in all the venues as the journeys may not be more than one hour on fast trains.


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