DOHA: The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), in partnership with Josoor Institute, has delivered the first in a series of orientation seminars to begin preparing staff and stakeholders for potential observation and secondment programmes to be organised for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
Following the successful delivery of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil observation programmes in which 89 delegates from the SC and its stakeholders were stationed across five of the 12 tournament host cities this workshop was jointly organised by the Tournament Operations and Planning (TOP) Department and Josoor Institute to begin preparing potential candidates for similar programmes in 2018.
The purpose of the workshop was to provide a holistic overview of all FIFA World Cup operations, and to introduce some of the functional areas required to run a mega-event including specific information on security, venue management, media operations, transport and marketing among others.
Following an introduction and welcome address by TOP Executive Director Dr. Sakis Batsilas, UEFA Events SA CEO Martin Kallen delivered an in-depth analysis of what is required to organize a successful world-class mega-event.
With a focus on host country operations Martin Kallen, who oversaw operations at the recent UEFA European Championship 2016 competition in France, emphasised that possessing a great product in a great sport are two critical success factors. As well, hosting a major event helps promote the sport and the host country
He provided a vast number of detailed examples including how proud the Portuguese were to host the Euro 2004 European Championship, with an atmosphere he qualified to be electric. This reflected his recommendation to ensure people of the country hosting a prestigious event have to feel proud.
Then, a workshop was held addressed by Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive of the Scottish Professional Football League, and Dr. Sue Bridgewater, from the University of Liverpool, along with SC speakers Rhali Amrani, Observation Programmes Senior Specialist and Gary Moretti, Football Events and Education Senior Manager.
Following the workshop, three SC employees Major Ali Al Ali, Deputy Executive Director of Security, Zach Joseph, Venue Expert, and Khalid Al Naama, Media Relations Senior Officer took part in a panel session to discuss what was expected of people who were chosen to take part in secondment and observation programmes at the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand, the 2016 UEFA Euro Championship in France and the 2017 UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff.
The group discussed their learnings with regards to venue readiness, merchandising and promotions, transport, media operations, stadium operations and security as well as providing key advice for those potentially selected to travel to Russia.
Following the panel, attendees were encouraged to network among colleagues and continue their preparation for their potential attendance of the SC programmes to be organized in Russia
Dr. Batsilas said: “Time is going so fast the 2022 World Cup will be in front of us before you know it. We need to be ready to deliver amazing and exceed even our own expectations.”
“We must learn from different tournaments, especially the final version of the World Cup before it is hosted in Qatar. We need to be in a position to identify critical challenges and support the Russian Local organizing Committee in any way we can. We can then bring this knowledge back to Qatar and apply it to our own tournament,” he added.
Dr. Batsilas further said: “Occasions such as this seminar and in the long-run the opportunities provided by SC observation and secondment programmes provide a unique chance for staff to learn from those with first-hand, on-the-ground experience. As a society we must always learn from what has gone before us, taking elements from the past to create our own unique futures and hosting a FIFA World Cup is no different.”
“We encourage all individuals who will end up getting selected to be part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia edition to grasp the opportunity with both hands, enjoy every moment and return to Qatar ready to share your newly acquired knowledge with colleagues and work together to ensure we deliver an amazing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar,” he said.
Afraa Al Noami, Acting Executive Director of Josoor Institute, added: “It is with great pride that we work alongside our esteemed colleagues at the SC to deliver programmes of such magnitude and importance to our long-term success, in 2022 and beyond.”
“Josoor Institute was founded with a clear vision: to produce a generation of pioneers to unleash the full potential of sports and events in Qatar, the Middle East and North Africa and there is no more clear example of this than the work the SC is doing to prepare its staff for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.”
“The success of the 2014 observation programme in Brazil, as well of that of the upcoming 2018 edition, will play a pivotal role as we seek to ensure when Qatars turn comes, we are ready and Josoor Institute is committed to helping ensure the most is made of every moment between now and then,” Afraa Al Noami said.