Doha: Yvette Burghgraef van Eechoud and Luis A Guillen Downing – the Netherlands and Costa Rica ambassadors to the State of Qatar respectively – joined fans, families and friends at the Brazil 2014 World Cup Fan Zone in Doha, on Saturday night.
The ambassadors’ visit came just as Costa Ricaand the Netherlands were due to kick off for a place in the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 – a game which saw the Netherlands win 4-3 on penalties.
The Fan Zone, organised by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), is showing all Brazil 2014 matches in super high definition at Katara Cultural Village – from the Round of 16 through to the final.
In an interview for the SC website, Ambassador Van Eechoud said of the Dutch team: “It’s a very cohesive team, and I think they’re having more fun this time, they’ve improved and they are absolutely going for the win.”
Following the Netherlands’ win, she added: “Costa Rica is the surprise of the tournament, with a very strong team and it was a true clash of spirits – a lot of energy!”
The Fan Zone is also being used as a prototype to test innovative open-air cooling technologies which are currently being developed by the SC.
Ambassador Van Eechoud acknowledged that Qatar has a warm climate, but added: “This is the first time for the World Cup to come to this part of the world, one of the greatest challenges being the weather, the climate in the fanzone is perfect and if it can be done with green energy, it shows the Supreme Committee can come through with their promises”.
Looking ahead to the Qatar World Cup in 2022, Ambassador Downing added: “It’s time for the Middle East to host the event, and (the Supreme Committee) did the right thing by having the right technology to overcome this challenge. (The cooling technology) is very important because it can get very warm.”
The SC plans to take feedback from the Fan Zone and turn it into recommendations to deliver an amazing fan and player experience at the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Ambassador Van Eechoud commented: “It’s all about the uniting power of sport and fair play, and it makes a difference, there should be only winners, no losers.”
“Everyone should take part in it and everyone should be proud of their achievements: the players, the fans, the hosts and also the workers,” she added.
Speaking of the Fan Zone, Ambassador Downing concluded: “It’s very well organized, something we can expect from Qatar’s standards. I’m sure this is a sample for what’s going to come in 2022.”The Peninsula