(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
Doha: With 50 days to go for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Qatari football legends expressed their excitement about the country hosting the tournament.
Mubarak Mustafa and Khalid Salman said they are thrilled as the tournament gets nearer and nearer.
“I am happy that Qatar will host the World Cup – first Middle Eastern country to host the event. Football unites the world, everybody likes football. I can recall that I started playing the sport when I was very young,” Mustafa told The Peninsula during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in-mall activation at Mall of Qatar on Thursday.
Mustafa is regarded as one of the greatest Arab and Qatari athletes of all time. A two-time winner of the Arabian Gulf Cup, he was top scorer and player of the tournament in 1992 and struck 34 goals for Qatar.
Salman meanwhile said he is pleased that the World Cup is happening very soon in the country. He also stressed that the upcoming event has a big impact as people are gaining more interest in football.
“Everybody here loves football – from the young and old. Anywhere in Qatar you can find a field for training and playing,” he said.
He also lauded Qatar's sports facilities not only for football, but as well as for basketball and volleyball among others. He expressed Qatar's readiness in hosting the tournament.“Qatar is ready even before the competition, we are ready 100 percent, and we are prepared six months even before the competition starts.”
Midﬁelder Salman was a star of the Qatar team that made the 1981 FIFA World Youth Championship ﬁnal. He scored a hat-trick against Brazil in the quarterﬁnals, before Qatar went on to beat England in the semiﬁnals.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be played from November 20 until December 18 which also marks Qatar National Day.
The 22nd edition of the tournament includes 32 teams. Qatar plays in Group A, alongside Ecuador, Senegal, and Netherlands. The first match will be between Qatar and Ecuador on the first day of the football fiesta. Kick-off is at 7pm at Al Bayt Stadium.
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