Former FC Barcelona and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o is one of the official ambassadors for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organisation responsible for delivering tournament infrastructure for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and its associated legacy programmes.
The legendary forward, who recently retired from football, spoke highly about Qatar being the host nation of the World Cup 2022. Speaking to sc.qa, Eto’o said, “When fans arrive in Qatar for the World Cup, they will find themselves in a very beautiful country, rich with traditions and culture and a totally unique setting for the tournament.
“I can say from first-hand experience the temperature at the time of year the tournament is scheduled for will be perfect for watching football, for playing football and also for relaxing by the beach! So fans will be able to enjoy many things away from the stadiums also, and spend their holidays in a very beautiful country.”
Eto’o again stressed on the fact that the visiting fans will have a unique experience in the country. He said, “Of course, for those watching at home, a successful World Cup is mostly linked with the quality of football. The drama, the passion, this kind of thing.
“I'm sure Qatar's World Cup will have all of that but for those who travel to these tournaments, it is about the overall experience. What really makes a difference is what the fans enjoy away from the stadiums – and I'm sure in Qatar they will have a very smooth and enjoyable experience. They can enjoy the city or the beach, the desert, the shopping, the restaurants. Many, many things.
“They will really have an opportunity to 'live' a World Cup, and be in the heart of the action from the moment they arrive. I understand they can go to more than one game per day too, this will be something unheard of. Something that can only happen in Qatar and I am sure that everyone who visits will return with a sense of satisfaction.”
The former Inter Milan man mentioned that he was delighted to hear the news about an Arabic country being given the hosting rights of a tournament like the World Cup.
He said, “It is true that I was fortunate enough to play in the first World Cup in Africa. Although we as a team did not progress as far as we had hoped, it was a memorable experience – not just for Cameroon or the hosts South Africa but for the whole continent. I have always believed football is a game for everyone, and therefore the World Cup should visit every region of the world. Therefore, I was delighted to see the Middle East given the opportunity to host in 2022 – it is an opportunity I know it will make the most of.
“Qatar is a small country, but it stands out because it is so different from all others. It's a great place to live or to visit, you feel very safe and the beaches are incredible – so as well as all the football, people will be able to enjoy a holiday too!”