The World Health Organization (WHO), the State of Qatar and FIFA have joined forces for a healthy world in 2022 in a three-year partnership called World Cup 2022 in Good Health: A Legacy for Sport and Health. The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar, which takes place from 21 November to 18 December, aims to leave a legacy of sport and health to other countries hosting the next major sporting events.
The State of Qatar is the first state in the Middle East to host the World Cup in winter and amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has placed health and health security at the center of every country’s priorities. COVID-19 has also changed sporting events as well as the social, economic and security ecosystem. In terms of post-COVID-19 recovery, the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar presents a unique opportunity to take a new approach to organizing major sporting events, taking into account the lessons learned from the pandemic and strengthening the role of sport and health. as a path to recovery.
The State of Qatar has taken high-level strategic steps to leave a lasting legacy, setting new benchmarks for the sustainable social, economic and environmental development of Qatar and the countries that will host the next major sporting events.
WHO and Qatar will work closely with FIFA to work together to make the promotion of healthy lifestyles, health security and physical and mental well-being a centerpiece of the World Cup. In doing so, the partnership focuses on the following three areas of work to ensure a healthy 2022 FIFA World Cup: leaving a legacy for sport and health:
Work Stream 1: Communication to raise awareness and promote the program.
Work Stream 2: Health promotion focusing on physical activity and nutrition and its links to mental health and other topics such as smoking prevention.
Pillar 3: Health Security to ensure the safety of public events and World Cup events by preventing health risks and hazards.
Examples of activities under these work streams include creating policies and environments that allow people to be more active by increasing access to sports and physical activity programs. In addition, it is necessary to provide a healthy eating environment by offering healthy food in stadiums and developing a comprehensive policy for the sale, marketing, labeling and pricing of food at such events.
In addition to sports, the partnership will promote healthy eating in schools by implementing, monitoring and enforcing a mandatory school meal policy. In addition, improving the quality of food sold in retail stores is also critical. Improving existing policies or developing new policies to ensure continued access to healthy and safe food for communities is one way to achieve this.
This partnership will elevate the status of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar to exemplary status in terms of hosting and legacy, as health promotion efforts and sporting events continue beyond the World Cup. Indeed, the lessons learned from this experience will provide knowledge that Qatar can share with countries hosting future major events. In anticipation of the longer-term agenda, WHO will bring together various partners to identify additional opportunities related to the common principles of health for all, safety and security.