Mark Hughes: Qatar should be proud of its preparations for 2022
Former Wales star Mark Hughes praised Qatar’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup™ during a visit to the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).
Speaking after a tour of the SC’s Legacy Pavilion, the former Manchester City manager described the eight proposed stadiums as ‘spectacular’.
“They are all spectacular – I like the fact that each stadium has its own story,” said Hughes, who made 799 career appearances for teams across Europe, including Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea.
Hughes went on to discuss the compact nature of the tournament – which he believes will be a massive benefit for competing teams. During Qatar 2022, the longest distance between stadiums will be just 55km, while players and fans will stay in only one accommodation during the event and never be far from any attraction.
“I was a player for many years and I know the hardships of moving from one place to another during a tournament,” said Hughes. “It affects everyone, including players, coaches and fans. But in Qatar, the tournament will be different. Players won’t have to travel, change their place of accommodation or training site. And because of this, I believe we’re going to witness a spectacular level of performance as the focus will squarely be on football.”
Hughes, who twice won the English Premier League with Manchester United and famously scored twice in the 1991 European Cup Winners’ Cup final for the Red Devils against Barcelona, is also expecting an unmatched tournament experience for the expected 1.5 million fans.
“I think it will be fantastic for fans. Everything will be close by thanks to the metro and other forms of transport. They also have the chance to attend two live games a day – something we’ve never really seen before at a major tournament.”
Hughes went on to discuss the current state of the English Premier League. The former Blackburn Rovers and Stoke City manager believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs time to build a competitive team at Old Trafford – and said Liverpool have a great chance to win both at home and in Europe this year.
“After 30 years, Liverpool will finally win the Premier League. Jurgen Klopp has done an outstanding job. They also have a fantastic chance of winning the Champions League for the second year in a row.”