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Qatar celebrates World Cup one-year-to-go milestone, unveils count down clock

“Qatar 2022” is written by drones over the Qatari capital Doha on November 21, 2021.   -  
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Gianni Infantino Samuel Eto'o and David Beckham attended the ceremony for the unveiling of the Qatar 2022 World Cup countdown clock in Doha on Sunday.

Qatar 2022's local organising committee, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, marked one year to the start of the FIFA World Cup with the countdown clock at the Corniche Fishing Spot in Doha.

Gianni Infantino said on Sunday that the world has an opportunity "to end some prejudice" they might have regarding the Arab World at Qatar 2022.

The FIFA president was speaking after the unveiling of the Qatar 2022 World Cup countdown clock in Doha.

"I am convinced that this World Cup in Qatar, in the Middle East, in the Gulf, in the Arab world will mark a u-turn in the way the world perceives with prejudice, sadly, sometimes the Arab world," said Infantino.

Qatar has continuously come under scrutiny by a few nations and individuals. But the former Indomitable Lions striker believes the tournament must go-ahead for the sake of football enthusiast

"Football is for the player, politics is for politicians, let's leave politics to politicians. Football players should play football and keep playing. You know, when we go down the road of being political, you never know where are people's interest. Us, players, we know how to play football and that's what we are paid for, and liked for, so let's just continue to play," said Eto'o. 

Former France, Denmark and Cameroon internationals, Marcel Desailly, Peter Schmeichel and Samuel Eto'o spoke after the unveiling ceremony about Qatar's preparedness for the World Cup in November 2022.

The European qualifying round concluded on Tuesday, with the ten group winners all booking their tickets to the finals.

Earlier this month, Brazil and Argentina became the first teams from South America to qualify.

To date, 13 teams are confirmed for Qatar 2022 and they include Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Netherlands, Qatar (host), Serbia, Spain, Switzerland.

By the end of 2021, seven of the eight venues will have been inaugurated: Ahmad Bin Ali, Al Bayt, Al Janoub, Al Thumama, Education City, Khalifa International and 974 (Ras Abu Aboud).

Lusail Stadium, the setting for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 final, will open its doors early next year.

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