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The strong face-off between English and Qatar Football Association takes a friendly turn.

Chief of English Football Association, Greg Clarke  signed “Knowledge sharing” memorandum of understanding with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the body responsible for the 2022 tournament, and the Qatar Football Association (QFA).

The differences between English and Qatar Football were a result of various controversies that surrounded Qatar then, ranging from violation of rights of migrant workers to voting issues for hosting FIFA 2022.

Greg Dyke, then English FA, chief described Qatar being awarded the hosting rights of World Cup as “the worst moment in FIFA’s history”. Qatar was criticised for ignoring labour rights for building FIFA stadium and was considered to be “the best of the bad options” for winning the bid.

After the investigation cleared Qatar for any wrongdoing to win the bid for hosting FIFA 2022 there has been a slight change in the sentiment. Further Qatar’s commitment to International Labour Organisation (ILO) to bring in labour reforms including freedom of workers to change jobs, minimum wages without discrimination and healthy working conditions, can be considered as the major turning point towards the change of heart.

The association is focussed around sharing of ideas experiences and expertise including grassroots football, youth development, women’s football, management and administration with the aim to promote and improve football.

British Ambassador to Qatar, Ajay Sharma, who said: “This will mark the beginning of even deeper cooperation between our two countries, and underlines the UK’s support for Qatar in delivering a successful World Cup 2022.” The association is though a friendly move but is not free from raising important questions regarding human rights.

Qatar has taken a series of steps in the direction already and has shown commitment towards achieving the reforms in spirit. Though it is still under scrutiny from Amnesty International, Human rights groups and various other organisations for successful implementation of committed labour reforms.

However this development is bound to raise both motivation of Qatar to host FIFA 2022 to best of its capabilities without compromising the rights of workers.

 

Qatar has always given special preference to sports activities. It is both derived by ambition to compete internationally and the importance of sports to bring together communities. Sports has proven to be a successful platform for communities to come together.

The National Sports Day celebrations began today with Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani participating by cycling on the Doha Corniche.

Various sports activities such as, cycling, swimming, football, basketball, tennis, taekwondo, self-defence, beach volleyball, water sports competitions were planned for the day at various locations celebrating the day.

Aspire Zone hosted thrilling sporting activities including, outdoor activities like running, children oriented activities, Dodge Ball, Japanese Kendo, Nordic Walk, beginning from 6:30 am to 1:00 pm. Indoor activities organised included, Challenge the Champion, Teamwork Challenges, Aspire Football Tournament, Football Performance and Science Activities beginning from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Katara being one of the major attractions saw the participation of 62 entities hosting range of activities such as, Wrestling match, Basket Ball competition, Tennis, Handball, Cycling,  Katara Furjan Beach Championship, Water games, Horse Riding, Volleyball, Marshall arts and parade.

Qatar Foundation organised 50 activities including, walkathon and ultra-marathon in education. Games and activities for kids and only ladies were also organised with family oriented activities taking place at the QF Recreation Center.

Ooredoo hosted a wide array of sports activities ranging from lemon race, relay, wood rail race, Tug-O-war, Human Bowling, Taekwondo to name a few.

Apart from these three major venues various sports activities were organised throughout the country to celebrate the Sports Day.

Celebrating Safer Internet Day (SID) on 6th February, Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) signed a MoU with Vodafone to ensure cyber security.

As per Dean and CEO of Northwestern University Qatar (NU-Q), Dr. Everette E Dennis, the case of QNA hacking was a planned disinformation formulation and circulation, to instigate regional and international insecurity, creating an anti-Qatar sentiment, which further became the basis of diplomatic blockade by GCC countries.

After the information attack caused by QNA hacking, Qatar is taking special measures to prevent cyber-attacks. In the same direction, the Qatar government has dedicated the year as Safer Internet Year. The MoU with Vodafone follows in sync to strengthen cyber safety initiatives.

The 2018 SID is themed “Create, connect and share respect: A better Internet starts with you”. It is a call for action from every stakeholder to play their part in ensuring safe internet surfing, focussing on youngsters being the most vulnerable people.

Vodafone, as partner on cyber safety initiatives is committed itself to double its efforts on creating a secure internet surfing. Vodafone has already been delivering creative and engaging workshops in 10 schools covering 1000 students. With the formal MoU with MoTC, it will now work on number of cyber security initiatives to ensure continuous and effective awareness.

Vodafone has launched AmanTECH in 2014, which equipped thousands of children, parents and teachers with the right tools to navigate the digital world safely. Their team is now committed that the program in long run will provide people in Qatar with everything they need to know and do for their children in today’s ever-expanding digital world.

Mohammed Al Yami, Director of External Affairs, Vodafone Qatar stated that they “look forward to working closely with the Ministry to reach even more people,” as a partner ensuring cyber security.

The ministry is already working with number of programs such as Haseen, SafeSpace, Ammen Taslam (#Secure4Safety), Ethical Responsibility in a Digital World, SID, and the Digital Literacy Curriculum carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Education & Higher Education, which will now completed by Vodafone.

The workshops initiated till now in schools has gained immense response. Further such programmes may prove extremely helping in educating youngsters about the various cyber issues and promoting safe internet surfing.