The excitement is building for the 2022 World Cup as over the next few weeks, we will find out who has secured the final few places in Qatar, with the World Cup draw taking place in Doha on April 1. 

The 2022 World Cup is the first edition to be hosted in the Middle East, and there is increased excitement as the 2022 tournament looks set to be one of the first global events where capacity crowds will be permitted. 

In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic that many countries are still experiencing, the 2022 World Cup is set to have an added focus on healthcare, with the organizers of the tournament intent on making the 2022 tournament the very best for healthcare.

In the lead-up to the event, the Ministry of Public Health and Hamad Medical Corporation will host Qatar Health 2022 and the 2nd Qatar Public Health Conference. It aims to host some of the world’s leading healthcare professionals in demonstrating Qatar’s capabilities in the fields of mass gathering management, disaster medicine, infectious disease and trauma surgery. The events will also look to scrutinize Qatar’s public health capabilities as it prepares to host one of the world’s biggest sporting events. 

Dr. Hassan Al-Thani, co-chair of Qatar Health 2022 and the 2nd Qatar Public Health Conference stated the important role that healthcare will need to play in the upcoming tournament: “2022 is a special year in Qatar. As healthcare providers, we play a unique and important role in delivering the best FIFA World Cup the world has seen. While many teams have been working tirelessly to prepare for this, we do so in a different environment (due to the pandemic) than we never anticipated. 

“In this environment, we want to ensure that our colleagues have access to the latest information about mass gatherings during a pandemic. During Qatar Health 2022 we will have a unique opportunity to learn from global experts represented by WHO and FIFA and local experts in the field of mass gatherings and the pandemic.”

With many countries still facing huge coronavirus-related logistical issues, Qatar will be in the spotlight as it prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of football fans. With COVID-19 and other potential new strains becoming a part of our daily lives, Qatar has the unique opportunity to set the benchmark in how global events on the scale of the World Cup can be run successfully despite the presence of the virus.

The organizers of the 2022 World Cup have made no secret about their desire to host the best World Cup the world has ever seen, and to achieve their aim, healthcare and keeping people safe will go a long way in determining its success.

Qatar is doing its very best to ensure that the 2022 World Cup will be remembered for events on the field and not off it.