The World Health Organization (WHO), State of Qatar and FIFA joined forces for a healthy world in 2022 and established a three-year partnership titled “The 2022 World Cup in Health: Leaving a legacy for sport and health”. Scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 18, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ aims to leave a legacy of sports and health to other countries that will host the next major sporting events.
The State of Qatar is the first state in the Middle East to host the World Cup during the winter and amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has placed health and health safety at the center of every country’s priorities. COVID-19 has changed the social, economic and security ecosystem as well as sporting events. Regarding the recovery from COVID-19, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ offers a unique opportunity to take a new approach to the organization of major sporting events, taking into account the lessons learned from the pandemic and reinforcing the role of sport and health. as a way of healing.
The State of Qatar has taken high-level strategic steps to leave a lasting legacy by setting new benchmarks in sustainable social, economic and environmental development for Qatar and the countries that will host the next major sporting events.
WHO and Qatar, in close cooperation with FIFA, will undertake joint activities aimed at placing the promotion of wellness, health safety and physical and mental well-being at the heart of the World Cup. In doing so, the partnership focuses on the following three workflows to achieve a healthy 2022 World Cup: leaving a legacy for sport and health:
Workflow 1: Communication to raise awareness and promote the program.
Workflow 2: Health promotion focusing on physical activity and nutrition, as well as its links to other issues such as mental health and smoking prevention.
Workflow 3: Health security for the provision of mass gatherings and World Cup events that ensure health safety through the prevention of health risks and hazards.
Examples of activities covered by these workflows include creating policies and environments that enable people to be more active by improving access to sports and physical activity programmes. In addition, healthy food environments should be ensured by serving healthy food in stadiums and by developing a comprehensive policy on the sale, marketing, labeling and pricing of food at such events.
Beyond sports settings, the partnership will promote healthy eating in schools by enforcing, monitoring and enforcing a mandatory school food policy. It is also of great importance to improve the quality of food sold in retail stores. Improving existing policies or developing new policies to ensure sustainable access to healthy and safe food for communities is one way to achieve this.
As health promotion efforts and sports interventions will continue after the World Cup, this partnership will elevate the Qatar 2022 World Cup™ to an exemplary position in terms of birth and heritage. Indeed, the lessons learned from this experience will generate knowledge that Qatar can then share with host countries of future major events. Looking ahead to a longer-term program, WHO will bring together various partners to identify further opportunities related to the common principles of health, safety and security for all.