Tribune News Network
FIFA Arab Cup volunteers attended a special event at Doha Exhibition Centre on Sunday to mark International Volunteer Day.
The highlight of the event was an opportunity to see the FIFA Arab Cup Trophy – the beautiful prize that will be awarded to the tournament winners on 18 December. More than 1,000 volunteers had their photograph taken with the trophy, which has recently been showcased at schools, businesses and tourist attractions across Qatar. The event was attended by Nasser Al Khater, CEO, FIFA World Cup Qatar LLC (Q22), and Colin Smith, FIFA’s Chief Tournament Events Officer and General Manager of Q22.
In total, more than 5,000 volunteers from 92 countries are supporting the delivery of the FIFA Arab Cup across a range of functional areas, including ticketing, accreditation, brand protection and fan support, among others. They are also playing a key role in building the atmosphere on match days.
We spoke to a number of volunteers to ask them about their roles and find out what inspires them to be part of a major sporting event like the FIFA Arab Cup.
“Through volunteering, I have grown into the person I am today. I have learned something from every person I have met and every experience I have had – and that is why I love being part of the volunteering team,” said Qatari volunteer Habeeb Khalfan, who is supporting the workforce management team during the tournament.
Doha-based Meriam Salhi, from Morocco, said: “The opportunity to be at the heart of the FIFA Arab Cup is so rewarding. It is a pleasure to support this event and help fans have a memorable experience.”
Alvaro Pastor travelled all the way from Mexico to volunteer at the tournament. He said: “I’m volunteering for the love of the game. The Arab Cup has brought the people of the region together. Next year’s World Cup will be unforgettable. I love to see football reach many people – it is something wonderful when you see people from different continents gathered in one place to enjoy the game. What also excites me is visiting wonderful places in Qatar, like Souq Waqif, where I can experience the culture and try the local food.”
Andrey Hernandez is another international volunteer who is proud to support the delivery of the Arab Cup. “I enjoy discovering new cultures,” said Hernandez, who is from Costa Rica. “The Arab Cup is providing an exciting experience for me. I can see why Qatar is well known for hosting prestigious international events.”
Al Khater praised the efforts of the volunteers and their key role in ensuring the success of the tournament.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of the volunteers from Qatar and around the world,” said Al Khater. “Volunteers are a key component for any major event – they are the first line in dealing with fans and a host of other operations. We are pleased to host this event as appreciation for them and look forward to celebrating more success as one team in future.”
Rasha Al Qarni, Administration Director, Q22, praised the volunteers for their positive impact on the tournament.
She said: “On International Volunteer Day, we pay tribute to the thousands of volunteers – from all over the world – who are playing a vital role in helping us to deliver the FIFA Arab Cup. Their commitment and enthusiasm are inspiring and we are very grateful for their hard work.”
Al Qarni continued: “This tournament is proving vital in helping to fine-tune our preparations for the FIFA World Cup, which will require more than 20,000 volunteers. We are sure that many Arab Cup volunteers will also support the delivery of next year’s mega-event.”
Applications for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Volunteers Programme will open early next year through FIFA’s Global Volunteer platform.