As the grandest sporting spectacle drew to a close on Sunday, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa hailed the remarkable hosting capabilities of Qatar in staging one of the most memorable football showpieces in recent history.
Shaikh Salman conveyed his congratulations to eventual winners Argentina and underlined his gratitude to the Qatar Football Association, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and the Qatari Authorities as well as FIFA.
The AFC President said: “The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 was a breathtaking spectacle which showcased once again the power of the beautiful game to inspire and unite people from all backgrounds and our congratulations must go to Argentina on clinching the coveted crown.
“On behalf of the Asian football family, I must express my heartfelt appreciation to the Qatar Football Association, the Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, the Qatari Government and FIFA for writing a new chapter in the history of world football – a truly magnificent celebration that will be cherished in the decades to come.
“Qatar provided an unrivalled stage. We showed the world that this was indeed Asia’s time, and I am heartened to note that Asia and Qatar delivered on its promise. Now we hand the baton to Canada, Mexico and the United States and I know they will build on the solid foundations laid by Qatar,” added Shaikh Salman.
The AFC President also took a moment to reiterate the historic achievements of the AFC’s representatives at the global showpiece which will be remembered for the manner in which Asian teams produced some of the most remarkable comebacks in recent times against the game’s traditional powerhouses.
At the same time, Referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim from Qatar, alongside Assistant Referees and compatriots Taleb Al Marri and Saoud Ahmed Almaqaled were selected to officiate the third-place playoff between Croatia and Morocco, marking the second consecutive edition an Asian trio was appointed to oversee the high-profile contest for third place.
He added: “Before the start of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, our collective aspirations, as underlined in the AFC’s Vision and Mission, was for our Asian teams and match officials to produce the performance of a lifetime, and I am truly pleased by their outstanding efforts.
“For the first time in the history of world football, Asia had three teams in the Knockout Stage and all credit must go to the AFC’s Member Associations for raising the standard of Asian football. Our duty now must be focused on building on this strong momentum over the next four years.”