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FIFA President Gianni Infantino delivered opening remarks in Doha on the eve of the FIFA World Cup 2022

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino delivered his opening remarks at the FIFA Global Summit in Doha on the eve of the FIFA World Cup 2022™ that begins later on Sunday. Here you find a transcript:

Your Highness, dear colleagues and friends, thank you very much for your welcoming words. Thank you for making us feel at home away from home and that we don’t even feel away from home; we just feel simply that we are at home.

This country has been geared up for presenting to all of us the best [FIFA] World Cup ever and what we have seen so far is truly amazing. And, we are all looking forward to the opening ceremony and the kick off of all the games starting us off later this afternoon. So, a big thank you for everything you and your people have been doing to support FIFA, to support the world football community, but most importantly, to welcome everyone in Qatar with an open heart and an open house.

I would like as well, dear friends, on a personal note to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support for my candidacy as FIFA President at our congress on 16 March next year in Kigali. I’m truly humbled, I’m extremely honoured, to have received the official support of over 200 member associations from all continents and this shows that we are indeed united. We are united to bring global football forward.

Together with all 211 member associations, with all confederations, we will continue to work together for the next four years and we will do great, great things: we will make football truly global; we will make football bigger all over the world and this is exactly why we all enjoy this task so much.

Now, I’d really like to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support. Thank you very much. Merci beaucoup [thank you very much]; muchas gracias [thank you very much].

I would like to thank you as well for the many messages that I received from so many of you following my press conference yesterday. It is good to say certain things sometimes; it is good to stick to our values. And, the most important values is that [there are] 211 [of us], and every one of us is the same; we are united. We all have our differences; we all have our cultures and religions – whatever. But, we are one – we are 211 who form one team only. And, we have to stick to these values protecting them [and] saying sometimes a few things and then, of course, focusing again [on] what’s most important to us, which is football.

I would like to simply say as well at the outset that what will start today – the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, will have, as you know, will have over three million spectators in the stadiums. We’ll have five billion people watching the World Cup from home. So, more than half of the world population will partly stand still certainly in certain countries, but globally watching the spectacle that the players, the referees –  everyone will bring to the [whole] society. We need after the [COVID-19] pandemic [these] moments where we can bring people together because football unites the world.

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