Wednesday 07 December 2022, 08:00

FIFA Observer Programme gives invaluable insight into delivering a successful World Cup

  • Observer Programme is a key part of every FIFA World Cup™

  • Programme gives organisers of future events a look behind the scenes

  • Aims to foster new ideas for future events

Hosting the FIFA World Cup™ is a huge undertaking that requires years of planning and painstaking attention to detail. Learning from experience and knowledge sharing play a key part in putting on the greatest show on earth and FIFA's Observer Programme offers organisers of future events an invaluable insight into how it is done. At the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the Observer Programme gave around 180 participants the chance to go behind the scenes to see for themselves how the tournament is organised. Over the course of three days, they visited numerous sites including the accreditation centre, the volunteers centre, tournament headquarters, stadiums, the International Broadcaster Centre, the Main Media Centre, FIFA Fan Festival and training sites, among others.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Observer Programme

“The Observer Programme is a key component of every FIFA World Cup and aims to provide people involved in the organisation of future editions of men’s and women’s tournaments, as well as the wider football community, with a deeper understanding of what it takes to successfully deliver the greatest show on earth,” said Colin Smith, FIFA's Chief Operating Officer - World Cup. “There have been many productive exchanges here in Doha, so we trust that participants will leave Qatar with new thoughts, impressions, ideas, as well as a greater appreciation of the magnitude of this event. This knowledge will support the participants as they contribute to the planning and delivery of their own events and forthcoming FIFA tournaments.” In addition to providing an overview of what it takes to successfully stage a men’s or women’s FIFA World Cup, the Observer Programme aims to inspire and foster new ideas that can be applicable to future events.

The observers came from the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 and FIFA World Cup 2026 organising committees -- including representatives from host cities, stadium authorities, and the local FIFA subsidiary -- plus confederations and other sports organisations. “Through the Observer Programme we received a comprehensive, big picture lens of a FIFA World Cup," said Jenny Mann, General Manager Acquisition & Development – Events South Australia, a host city participant linked to the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023. "All different elements including stadiums, accommodation, transport, spectator services, and media were covered, and now we can work on how we tailor the information and experiences from Qatar to the FIFA Women’s World Cup that we will be hosting next year.” “The key for us is customising some of the great initiatives from Qatar 2022 to our local cities. We know what we do well in South Australia, and we will be ready to warmly host teams, fans, and media.”

Amy Hopfinger, Chief Planning & Strategy Officer USA, FIFA World Cup 2026, said it was an invaluable experience, even taking into consideration the contrasts between the hosts. “As the next FIFA World Cup hosts, participating in the Observer Programme has been an amazing opportunity and an incredibly valuable resource to aid in our preparations," she said. "While the 2026 tournament will present a markedly different geographic footprint, among other differences, the opportunity to experience and see first-hand FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has been hugely insightful." "The knowledge gained and the exchange of ideas will prove very beneficial as we continue to plan to welcome the world to North America for the greatest event in sport.”

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Observer Programme