The World Health Organization (WHO), the State of Qatar and FIFA have teamed up to deliver a Healthy 2022 World as part of a three-year partnership, titled “Healthy 2022 World Cup – Creating Legacy for Sport and Health.” The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,™that runs from 21 November until 18 December, aims to leave a legacy for sport and health for other nations hosting future mega sporting events.
The State of Qatar is the first-ever State from the Middle East to host the World Cup during winter and amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has put health and health security at the centre of each country. COVID-19 has also changed sports events and the social, economic, and security eco-system. Looking towards COVID-19 recovery, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ represents a unique opportunity for a new approach for organizing mega sports events, one that factors-in lessons learnt from the pandemic and reinforces sports and health as a pathway for recovery.
The State of Qatar has taken high-level and strategic measures to create a lasting legacy, setting new benchmarks for Qatar’s sustainable social, economic, and environmental development and hosting countries of future mega sports events.
WHO and Qatar, working closely with FIFA, will undertake joint activities to place the promotion of healthy lives, health security and physical and mental well-being at the heart of the World Cup. In doing so, the partnership focuses on three pillars towards achieving a Healthy 2022 World Cup – Creating Legacy for Sport and Health:
Examples of activities under these pillars include creating policies and enabling environments for people to be more active by increasing access to sports and exercise programmes. Additionally, ensuring healthy food environments by providing healthy food options at sports stadiums and developing a comprehensive policy for the sale, marketing, labelling, and pricing of food during such events.
Beyond sporting environments, the partnership will promote healthy foods at schools by implementing, monitoring and enforcing a mandatory school food policy. Furthermore, improving the quality of food sold in retail shops is also crucial. Strengthening existing or developing new policies to ensure sustainable access to healthy and safe food for communities is one way to accomplish this.
This partnership will position the World Cup Qatar 2022™ as an example of delivery and legacy since safe health, and sports interventions will continue the Cup itself. Lessons learned from this experience will generate knowledge for Qatar to share with hosting countries of future mega-events. Moving towards a longer-term programme, WHO will bring various partners together to identify other opportunities around the common principles of health for all, safety and security.
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