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Doha: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa attended the reopening ceremony for the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Friday, as well as the final of Qatar’s Emir Cup, in the presence of the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and other officials.

The AFC President congratulated the Emir of Qatar on  the reopening of the Khalifa Stadium, the first proposed host venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, adding that the occasion showed that Qatar is ready to host the first-ever World Cup in the Middle East.

Shaikh Salman said: “We look on with admiration and appreciation for the efforts made in Qatar to speed up preparations to host the FIFA World Cup.

“The opening of the Khalifa International Stadium five years before the start of World Cup is proof of the will and determination of all those who are involved in hosting the 2022 World Cup, and it gives a clear message about the importance of finishing preparing stadiums long before the start of a World Cup.”

The AFC President also hailed the stadium’s renovation according to FIFA World Cup standards, developments which have included the raising of the stadium’s capacity, the provision of a cooling system, the building of a roof and the construction of a sports museum to attract football fans.

Shaikh Salman also confirmed that the AFC will support Qatar’s efforts to host the best World Cup in the history of the game, explaining that Qatar’s success would be a success for Asia, and that it would send out a message that Asia is the biggest football stadium in the world.