Bengaluru/Doha, March 25: Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has praised Qatar's preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, while also flashing the thumbs up for the country's commitment to develop the 'Beautiful Game'.
During a visit to the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL), the local organising body of Qatar 2022 World Cup, Wenger, who quit as Arsenal manager after being in charge for 22-years, spoke positively about Qatar's World Cup plans, saying the tournament would offer a new experience to players, fans and officials.
"I'm impressed with the quality of the planning for the World Cup, including the thinking that is behind it," Wenger told SCDL website.
"This World Cup is integrated in the community and there are a lot of plans to make sure it isn't wasted after the tournament. The project for the event is fantastic - but the community will take advantage of it after the World Cup, which is a great idea," he added.
Break from tradition
The Qatar 2022 World Cup is scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 18 as in a break from tradition, the tournament was controversially pushed back to a winter window because of the scorching summer temperatures in the tiny Middle East country.
Qatar is building only eight stadiums for the one-month tournament and are promising to deliver the completed venues two years before the kick off.
The longest distance between stadiums in Qatar 2022 World Cup will be just 55km - meaning fans will be able to attend more than one match a day during the early stages of the tournament.
It will also mean a lack of travel for fans, players and officials - which will provide a new experience according to Wenger.
"When I think back to the many World Cups I've been to, you always plan your flights. It'll be a new experience for supporters here - once you're in Qatar you just've to move from one stadium to another without taking a flight.
"For the players and delegations too - the national teams can stay at one place during the whole World Cup and that'll be a much more comfortable experience than before," he concluded.
(With SCDL inputs)