Mexico to open special centre, launch app for fans during Qatar 2022: Official
Doha: With nearly 80,000 fans expected to cheer the team for the World Cup, Mexico will set up a special centre to cater to the fans during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Alfonso Zegbe, Executive Director of Public Diplomacy, Mexico Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Coordinator-General of the Mexican Strategy for the FWC Qatar 2022, told The Peninsula in an exclusive interview.
Speaking on the sidelines of the just-concluded FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Security Last-Mile Conference, Zegbe said visiting Mexican fans will also have to register on an app that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is developing.
“We are yet to determine the number of fans attending, but we expect between 40,000 to 80,000. We will build a special centre of attention for Mexicans, those from Mexico and those from the US or with dual nationality. “We will bring different components the Mexican government can offer here like information, consular protection, consular paperwork and assistance, medical services, police and media. We will also grant them safety nets and ensure fans behave according to the legal framework and the local traditions.”
Zegbe disclosed that Mexico is already holding information sessions in Mexico City, educating the public on what to expect in Qatar.
“We are holding sessions with our fans, even those who aren’t attending the World Cup. We want them to know where Qatar is, the tradition, and the Middle East. This is a historic World Cup; it’s the first time an event of this dimension is organised in the Middle East,” he added.
The Mexican official said attending the security conference was also to meet with Qatari counterparts and FIFA officials and see the hospitality arrangement to have enough information for Mexicans.
Speaking on the participation of the hosts of the next World Cup in 2026, the USA, Mexico and Canada in Qatar 2022, Zegbe said the 2026 tournament would be unique, stressing it would be the first jointly-hosted World Cup since Korea-Japan in 2002.
He added that the security conference held in Qatar during the World Cup is an important milestone, and the three countries would have to organise the same ahead of 226. “At the end of this World Cup, we would like to have an event to welcome everyone to Mexico, the US and Canada together. It’s the first time three countries will host the World Cup jointly. Mexico, the US, and Canada are very integrated as North America in terms of connectivity. We also have the infrastructure, being fans of football and having organised two World Cups. So that’s important in terms of experience.
“We are the third most visited country in tourism in the last three years. So we have also the infrastructure for hotels, services, restaurants, airports and connectivity,” Zegbe said.
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