Qatar’s World Cup architect, Al Thawadi, delivered a tournament that left a transformative legacy for Qatar, the region and world.
World Soccer magazine has recognised Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, Hassan Al Thawadi as People of the Year for the feats accomplished in the World Cup, according to Al Kass.
The English publication credits Al Thawadi for his efforts in developing a tournament like no other while battling the criticism of several forces.
“Rare indeed are the men and women who fight a hosting bid battle and remain standing, heading up the event’s organisation and operation, when mission and thankless hard work has paid off,” World Soccer wrote.
“Such a man is Hassan Al Thawadi, the Liverpool supporter who studied in Scunthorpe and Sheffield, who worked up Qatar’s bid for the World Cup, then oversaw the event’s creation and activation while batting away relentless western criticism and was still standing at the final,” the English publication added.
Amid Qatar’s decade-run preparation to host the 2022 World Cup, the country faced internal and external obstacles.
At the chain of those events was Al Thawadi, who has led Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organising committee since his appointment in 2013.
Labeled an impossible feat for the small peninsula, Al Thawadi’s team blew expectations out of the water in hosting the World Cup.
World Soccer quoted Al Thawadi’s 2009 interview with the publication in which the Qatari expected to produce a victorious event for the game of football.
“We have seen progress by leaps and bounds over the last ten years in so many different areas. We are pioneers and among world leaders in the fields of oil and gas. Infrastructure, building, everything. It’s given us self-belief about being able to provide a unique experience for the World Cup – unique both for ourselves and for the Middle East,” Al Thawadi told the magazine.
The honouring adds to Al Thawadi’s global commendation as the Qatari won a Special Recognition Award at the Leaders Sports Awards in London last year.
In 2020, World Soccer named President of Paris Saint-Germain Nasser al-Khelaifi People of the Year for his attainments with the club.