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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Qatar emir says ‘exceptional’ World Cup delivered to fans

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who gave Argentina captain Lionel Messi a traditional Arab cloak after his side won the trophy, paid tribute to the finalists and fans in a Twitter statement after the match.

Qatar’s ruler said Sunday that the Gulf state had delivered on a vow to hold an “exceptional” World Cup.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, who gave Argentina captain Lionel Messi a traditional Arab cloak after his side won the trophy, paid tribute to the finalists and fans in a Twitter statement after the match.

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“We have fulfilled our promise to organize an exceptional championship by Arab countries, which provided an opportunity for the people of the world to learn about the richness of our culture and the originality of our values,” the emir said.

Qatar spent more than $200 billion on stadiums and new infrastructure ahead of the first World Cup in an Arab nation, which FIFA leader Gianni Infantino has said was the “best ever”.

But the Gulf state has faced relentless criticism over its rights record and the treatment of foreign labourers.

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Qatar’s leaders said the attacks were an attempt to cast doubt on the Arab world’s right to hold such big events.

Messi was prominently pictured wearing a ‘bisht’ traditional cloak that the emir presented the Argentina icon before he lifted the World Cup trophy.