With the 24th Men’s Handball World Championship (15 January to 1 February 2015) drawing nearer, ongong site inspections by the International Handball Federation (IHF) are increasingly focusing on the event’s more intricate details.
Leon Kalin (SLO), Chairman of the Commission of Organising and Competition, and Patric Strub (GER), Competitions Director at the IHF head office in Basle, Switzerland, were in Doha to analyse, review and check the progress of preparation together with Philippe Bana (FRA), member of the IHF Commission of Organising and Competition and official competition counsellor of the Qatar 2015 Organising Committee during their latest three day site inspection.
“We were very pleased with the efforts and the cooperation with the Organising Committee. Mainly we were extremely impressed by the progress of building the Qatar Handball Association Complex. But both sides, the Organising Committee and IHF, know that there’s still plenty of work ahead to finally see a perfect World Championship,” said Leon Kalin.
The topics of the three day programme were numerous, starting – as one key point – with an update on theconstruction progress of the three new venues: Al-Sadd, Lusail Multipurpose Arena and Qatar Handball Association Complex.
IHF and Organising Committee will make sure in a common way that all constructions will be finished in the scheduled timetable,” Leon Kalin added after the inspection.
“Additionally, we have discussed all construction matters for the Aspire Dome, which will be turned into a handball arena for the World Championship,” said Patric Strub.
The Qatar 2015 Higher Organising Committee was headed by Director General Dr Thani Abdulrahman al-Kuwari and Vice President of the Qatar 2015 Organising Committee Ahmed Mohamed al-Shaabi.
Ahmed Mohamed al-Shaabi was pleased with the outcome of the inspection: “The preparation for this pinnacle event is in full swing and fully in accordance with the timetable and the schedule set by the International Handball Federation. The newly constructed arenas will be a pride to Qatar and the Middle East once they are completed.”
Dr Thani Abdulrahman al-Kuwari said: “His Excellency Chairman of the Organising Committee Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani has been following up on the preparations step by step. We are all committed to deliver the best Handball World Championship ever held. All committees involved in the tournament are working as one team to ensure the success of the event. All those involved in the design and construction of the facilities are determined to ensure that everything goes according to precise details of the plans.”
Regarding the venues additional details for the test events were discussed during the inspection. While the 2014 IHF Super Globe will be staged in the Qatar Handball Association Complex in September, the Asian Club League Championship in autumn will take place in the Al-Sadd and the Lusail Multipurpose Arena, as proposed by the IHF.
Besides the status reports from all involved departments of the Organising Committee several organisational matters were discussed and reviewed during the IHF inspection such as ticketing, promotion, communication, transport and accommodation.
“In many points, for example the accreditation system, the Qatar 2015 organisers will reach a level which is close to Olympic standards,” Leon Kalin said, praising the departments of the Organising Committees.
The last major topic was the World Championship Draw Event in Doha on 20 July, which will be held as an evening gala at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Doha. “The draw itself will be a remarkable event. Qatar will showcase its abilities to show the world: We are ready for the tournament,” said Dr Thani Abdulrahman Al Kuwari.
“For the first time ever in the history of IHF World Championships the heads of delegations of all 24 participating teams will be invited not only to the draw event, but also on a tour to see the venues and the team hotels,” saidPatric Strub, adding: “This draw event will set another global milestone on the road to Qatar 2015.”
“In general we can say Qatar is on the right track with their preparations. We will have inspections every two months from now on. But we are sure that we will see a magnificent tournament,” Leon Kalin concluded.