During his recent visit to the State of Qatar, H.E Mr. Thierry Braillard, France’s Secretary of State for Sports, spoke to www.sc.qa after visiting the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) to learn more about the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. The French dignitary spoke about his memories of the 1998 FIFA World Cup France™, the opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the field of sports, as well as his belief that every country should be given the opportunity to be an actor, and not only a spectator, in the field of sport.
Q: How has your meeting with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy helped you to understand Qatar’s plans and progress for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™?
A: The meeting we had with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy was enriching. It highlighted Qatar’s ambition of building strong sports diplomacy. Qatar offers opportunities for a mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries in the field of sports, with Qatar’s dynamism and facilities on the one hand and our firms’ well-recognized expertise on the other hand.
Q: Can France’s experience help Qatar put on a memorable tournament just as France did in 1998?
A: In 1998 a key ingredient for success was that it offered huge symbols in terms of unity and gathering. It fully used sport’s capacity to bring people together and break walls. The game played between USA and Iran for instance, was a huge symbol of hope.
Q: What do you think about the tournament coming to the Middle East region for the first time?
A: Sport’s vocation is to be universal, so it was positive to see the Middle East region hosting such an event of course, as was the case with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It showed that every country has a chance to be an actor in the field of sport, and not only a spectator.
Q. How have Qatar’s experiences at the 2015 Handball World Cup helped to set a standard for future events as France readies to host the next Handball World Cup?
A. Even more than your impressive facilities, it is Qatar’s enthusiasm for sport that has to inspire us. French handball obviously has a deep experience we need to rely on, but it is just as important to remain inventive and ambitious in our approach.