Qatari comedian Hamad al-Amari believes the tournament will showcase the culture of Qatar and the Middle East.
Qatari stand-up comedian Hamad al-Amari believes that World Cup, which kicked off on Sunday, is an opportunity to “showcase” the country’s rich culture to the world.
In an interview with Al Jazeera’s sports presenter Sana Hamouche, al-Amari also responded to criticism that Qatar lacked a football heritage.
“Growing up, we played football barefoot. That was what we did as kids. Football is the most watched sport, participated sport in the country,” he said.
The quick-witted al-Amari, who speaks English with a distinctive Irish lilt having lived in Ireland for many years, remains unfazed by the criticism that has been levelled at Qatar in the build-up to the tournament.
“I don’t think any other country has been exposed to the things that Qatar has been exposed to in the media,” he said, “and it’s fine, we’re doing it anyway. It’s happening.”
“It is our responsibility as Qataris to showcase our culture and bring people in, and that’s exactly what we are doing,” he said.