Tuesday 22 November 2022, 13:00

Teams make local impact on global stage

  • 19 teams take time away from training to meet and inspire local community groups

  • Diverse programme of Community Events organised by the Local Organising Committee

  • Local youths, workers, volunteers, and female footballers welcomed at Team Training Sites ahead of the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world

In between arrivals and the preparations for their opening matches, 19 of the 32 FIFA World Cup™ qualified teams took time out to meet with community groups to recognise their contributions and support in the build-up to the tournament.

Most events were held at each team’s training site, where players and coaches met and participated in football-centered activities with local youths, workers, volunteers and female footballers. The face-to-face engagements helped break down barriers between players and the public, promoting the positive values of the game and producing smiles all around.

Qatar, Canada, Australia, Korea Republic, Serbia and Costa Rica all met independently with various groups of official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ volunteers. For players, it was an opportunity to show their appreciation to volunteers for months of dedication ahead of the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world. For volunteers, the chance to play football and take penalties with the pros was a cherished once-in-a-lifetime experience.

World Cup hopefuls USA, England, Netherlands, and Argentina met with workers involved in the construction and management of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ infrastructure and found they shared more than monumental goals in common. Candid opportunities for bridging diverse cultures came on the heels of football fun between the national team players and the amateur football enthusiasts who were selected to take part in the sessions. The workers had all previously participated in the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Workers’ Cup.

Wales, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Brazil opened their doors to the young leaders and change-makers of Generation Amazing, with predictably inspiring results. Awe in the faces of young fans was matched by affection from grateful players who expressed their mutual respect for the talented youth of Generation Amazing and their mission to positively impact their communities through the power of football.

Morocco and Ghana met with amateur footballers from their local Moroccan and Ghanian communities, hyping up their home crowds and hammering home the themes of diversity and inclusivity in the build up to the historic tournament. Ghana’s players even joined in traditional song and dance led by Ghanian drummers who had come to meet and motivate the team.

Croatia and Germany met with aspiring female footballers from local academies matched the players step for step in “freestyle challenge” events. Maximum points were awarded to both sides for harnessing the power of football to promote inclusivity and empowerment.

Mexico was unique in venturing outside their Team Base Camp to create football art alongside young fans at the Fire Station Museum near Al Bidda Park. Bleach white footballs became creative canvases and colourful splatter-art was made by kicking painted balls against a canvas target, giving new meaning to the term “football artistry”.

The full programme of engagements was organised by the Team Services arm of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, and facilitated by projects within the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), with the support of FIFA and the participating teams.