Qatar World Cup pandemic risks being well run — WHO
The World Cup trophy is displayed before the 2014 FIFA World Cup final football match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on July 13, 2014. (Photo: AFP)

GENEVA, Switzerland (AFP) — The WHO voiced confidence Tuesday that hosts Qatar would successfully manage the COVID-19 risks at the 2022 football World Cup.

There was no reason to think the pandemic risks would be higher at the November-December tournament than at other major events which have passed off safely, the World Health Organization's emergencies director Michael Ryan said.

"Properly managed mass gatherings that have the proper planning can be run very safely," he told a live interaction on the WHO's Facebook page.

"We've been working very closely with the authorities in Qatar on that as WHO, and providing advice as needed to them on how to run a safe World Cup.

"The public health authorities in Qatar have been very engaged... on the public health risk management of the World Cup.

"Overall, the risks are being very carefully managed."

Two million tickets will be sold in total, with another one million reserved for sponsors and the sport's global governing body FIFA.

The Qatari capital Doha, with a population of about 2.4 million, is bracing itself for the huge influx of visitors.

"I don't perceive there's any more risk with the World Cup than there's been with any other mass gatherings," said Ryan.

"I have every faith that they will be able to run a successful World Cup and that it will be a spectacle for the world to enjoy."

The 32-team tournament — set to be the most geographically-concentrated World Cup in history — kicks off on November 21.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy