Pandas sent by China arrive in Qatar ahead of World Cup
Doha: China sent 23,000 fans to Qatar to support the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in May, organisers said on Friday, while fans from the Middle East and Africa came in small numbers but made an impact in a small number of matches.
The Chinese people are making a big contribution to this World Cup in Qatar,” said Qatar’s Football Association head Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Abdullah Al-Thani.
He cited the Chinese people in Qatar as a vital part of Doha 2022 and thanked them for the overwhelming support they have shown in helping Doha 2022 succeed.
“What the people of China in Qatar are doing, the contribution they are making to this World Cup in Qatar is unprecedented,” he said at a news conference earlier on Friday.
The Chinese people are very concerned that the world can come to Doha, the homeland of their country, play World Cup, and also send a message to them,”
Mr Abdullah said he and Mr Zhu Qilin, chief delegate of the Chinese Embassy to Qatar, went to Doha and met with the government and the people.
They then presented a letter to Doha’s President Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, which outlined the Chinese people’s wishes for the World Cup.
On May 31, China will announce its squad for the Asian qualification matches for the World Cup.
“We are happy to see the great support from the people of China in Qatar. The Chinese people are very concerned that the world can come to Doha, the homeland of their country, play World Cup, and also send a message to them.”
Mr Zhu said while the support for the Asian qualification matches has been great, there are no fans coming from other countries despite their presence in the Chinese community in Qatar.
He said the Chinese people will continue to support the AFC Asian qualifying process and other national teams for the 2022 World Cup.
More than 600,000 Chinese fans had gathered for the matches as China won the Olympic qualifying tournament for the 2012