Qatar will only allow fans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend the FIFA World Cup next year and is negotiating to ensure access to 1 million doses of the vaccine when global immunization efforts lag, Qatar prime minister said.
In November 2022, the Gulf Arab state will host a four-week tournament, and the president of the global soccer body, FIFA, has announced that matches will be played in packed stadiums.
Qatar’s prime minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, told news agencies that while most countries were expected to have vaccinated their citizens, Qatar is still taking measures to ensure a successful event.
“We are currently in talks with the company to supply one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to immunize and vaccinate some of those arriving in Qatar,” he said.
It was not immediately clear how these vaccines would be offered. Most coronavirus vaccines require two doses given several weeks apart.
Qatar officials have previously said they hope to host a coronavirus-free tournament and plan to make vaccines available to attendees who have not yet been vaccinated.
Qatar vaccinates its citizens and residents with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. According to the Reuters COVID-19 tracker, Qatar has administered at least 2.8 million doses, which is enough to vaccinate about 50.8% of the population.
Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid said the 2021 Arab Cup, which Doha will host in December, will reflect Qatar’s readiness to host the major tournaments.
According to him, a large number of stadiums had been completed, and work is ongoing at three stadiums, including the Lusail Stadium, which will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup final, which is now 90% complete.