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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.

 

Qatar is preparing to launch its new team at the much awaited second Aspire International Kite Festival, scheduled to take place from March 6 to 9 at Aspire Park.

The competition will see the participation of more than 20 countries best Kite flyers. Qatar’s hopes are high as it plans to rigorously to win with its newly formed team. “We hope to win,” team captain Saoud al-Mohannadi told Gulf Times on the sidelines of a kite flying workshop at Aspire Zone’s Ladies’ Club yesterday.

As stated by the captain the newly formed team is preparing hard for the competition which is to witness a range of individual and team events such as synchronised kite performances and kite flying art displays, for leaving a mark of its own.

The newly formed team is trained by coaches from Italy and Singapore enhancing “in our objectives and focus on what we can do in terms of planning and strategy.” The captain further stressed that “It is going to be a tough competition because there are very strong teams from various countries in Europe, Asia, and other regions, including Italy, France, and Singapore,”

He further explained that though the team has already eight members on board it is still looking for  talented and dynamic Qatari kite flyers “who can add value to the team,” and to complete the team as they will require a total of 12 to 14 members.

He further suggested that apart from skills the team needs to be dynamic and have a good communication between the members. He expressed that “Kite flying is fun and it has a principle of strategy and collaboration,” the team captain noted. “It is not hard or not easy but it involves a lot of calculations.” Since this would be first time for Qatar the team needs to well-prepared understanding the core of the sport.

As per information more 10 out of 13 teams will be returning to participate from last year making it a tough competition for the first time competition Qatar. Though it looks like team members driven by the captain are highly motivated to make a remarkable entry to this festival.