Doha, Qatar: As the world celebrates International Volunteer Day, volunteers for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 are getting ready for Asia’s biggest football tournament. A total of 6,000 volunteers have been recruited to support with 20 functional areas.
A total of 107 nationalities will make up the cohort of volunteers for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, with ages ranging from 18 to 72 years. While 5% of those recruited will be volunteering for the first time, many will be bringing valuable experience gained from previous sporting events in Qatar.
Qatari volunteer Abdulmohsin Al Yafei takes pride in returning as a volunteer for the AFC Asian Cup for the second time, having previously volunteered in the 2011 edition, which was also hosted by Qatar.
“Volunteering is an opportunity to give back to my country; it’s what I have loved doing the most since childhood. No matter how big or small our role is, we all want to be part of the bigger picture and take pride in helping Qatar deliver this prestigious event,” said Al Yafei who has been an active face in Qatar’s volunteering scene since 2000.
Tournament organizers received approximately 50,000 applications since registration began on October 5. More than 850 interview sessions were conducted at the dedicated Volunteer Centre in the Lusail Stadium, led by long-term volunteers. One of those volunteers is Olu Famuyiwa, a British national who has been residing in Qatar for 15 years. Famuyiwa was also part of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 volunteer team.
“There’s a tremendous sense of belonging to being a volunteer. As we saw with the World Cup, there were volunteers from so many backgrounds, but we delivered the tournament as one family. Memories from Qatar 2022 are still fresh in our minds, and we are excited to show the world once again that Qatar is ready to host an incredible tournament,” Famuyiwa said.
The active participation of over 35,000 volunteers in various sporting events hosted by Qatar in recent years showcases the development of a strong volunteering culture within the country.
For Samah Abu Isneenah, an active volunteer since 2018, volunteering has provided women such as herself with much needed opportunities to be a part of global tournaments.
“I began volunteering at a time when it was not common to see women play an active role in sporting events or be seen at stadiums. Volunteering allowed women such as myself to showcase our skills and how we can contribute and make a difference in the world of sports,” said Abu Isneenah, an avid supporter of the Jordan national team.
Recognising the key role that volunteers will play in the delivery of the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023, Rasha Al Qarni, Local Organising Committee (LOC) Administration and Workforce Executive Director, said: “We have always been keen to celebrate the human side of the tournament. It is our workforce, our people, who are responsible for making a difference and ensuring memorable experiences for spectators and players.
“Volunteers are the heart of the tournament’s operations. We are proud of the volunteer culture in Qatar, which is one of the greatest legacies achieved from staging major sporting events over the past years,” Al Qarni added.
Qatar is set to host the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2023 for a record third time after successfully hosting it in 1988 and 2011. Twenty-four of the continent’s best teams will compete for the continent’s most prestigious football title. A total of 51 matches will be played across nine stadiums from 12 January to 10 February 2024.
Read the full article here