The Qatari government has announced that fans attending matches at next year’s FIFA World Cup in the country will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

In an interview with Qatari newspapers, Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani said that the country is in negotiations with a company to provide one million doses of the vaccine to any non-vaccinated fans visiting the country for the tournament.

The Prime Minister said the vaccination requirement will be introduced as there remains a possibility that some countries will not be able to vaccinate all of their citizens by the World Cup, which is scheduled to run from November 21 to December 18 next year.

“We are currently negotiating with a company to provide us with one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate non-vaccinated people coming to World Cup Qatar 2022,” the Prime Minister said, according to Qatari newspaper The Peninsula.

“Our primary goal in vaccinating some of the people coming to Qatar to attend the 2022 World Cup is to protect the public health of citizens and residents, as well as to protect the fans participating in the tournament.”

Sheikh Khalid said that while COVID-19 has had some “minor impact” on preparations for the World Cup, Qatar is in a good position with the majority of work having already been carried out prior to the pandemic.

The Prime Minister added that Lusail Stadium, the site for the World Cup final on December 18, is “90% completed”.

Qatar has completed work on four of its stadia ahead of next year’s World Cup, with Al Rayyan Stadium becoming the latest to open its doors in December last year. It followed Khalifa International Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium and Education City Stadium.

Image: Qatar 2022