Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has invited all football fans to attend this year’s World Cup, noting the country will open its door to all “without discrimination.”
In his address at the 77th United Nations General Assembly, the Qatari leader said the biggest sporting event is an opportunity to unite those from different backgrounds and races.
“The Qatari people will receive with open arms football fans from all walks of life,” said Sheikh Tamim on Tuesday’s assembly of world leaders.
Citing the holy Quran, the Qatari leader expressed his wish to see everyone come together to celebrate the beautiful game of football.
“The Almighty says: ‘And We made you into peoples and tribes that you may know one another.’ No matter how diverse our nationalities, religions and ideas are, but our duty is to overcome obstacles, extend a hand of friendship, build bridges of understanding and celebrate our common humanity,” said Amir Tamim.
“On behalf of my people and on my own behalf, I invite you all to come to Qatar and enjoy this unique tournament, you are all welcome,” said the amir as he concluded his speech.
Sheikh Tamim’s remarks come as Qatar’s national team prepares for its first-ever World Cup tournament.
Ahead of the World Cup, Qatar’s Asian champions have climbed up the FIFA ranks.
Last year, Qatar climbed back into the top 50 teams after repositioning in the 58th spot.
During the Austrian-friendly four-nation tournament, Qatar defeated Ghana 2-1 and tied up with Morocco and Jamaica in a tight competitive round.
This month will be the last trial of preparations for the Qatari team as it is scheduled to face Canada and Chile before playing against Ecuador on 20th November.
The team is placed in Group A, which will see Senegal and The Netherlands.
An estimated number of 1.5 million fans will descend on the Arabian peninsula for the World Cup, with some visiting the Middle East for the first time.