“Our shared objective is to create a healthy and safe World Cup in Qatar next year, but also to create a legacy by showing how major sporting events can be used to promote health and well-being,” WHO director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during an event at WHO Geneva headquarters to launch the project.
During the same event, WHO also announced the appointment of its new Goodwill Ambassador for Sports and Health, former captain of Ivory Coast national football team and Chelsea striker, Didier Drogba.
“The 2022 World Cup is a unique opportunity for a new approach for sport and health as we look toward a Covid-19 recovery”, Drogba said.
The Gulf Arab state hosts the four-week tournament in November 2022 and the president of global soccer body FIFA, Gianni Infantino, has said the matches would be held in full stadiums.
In a video record released during the same event, Infantino said that Qatar was “committed to make, not only the biggest, but also the safest World Cup ever”.
Qatari officials had earlier said they hoped to hold a coronavirus-free tournament and planned to make vaccinations available to attendees not already immunized. Qatar is vaccinating its citizens and residents with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.