Nasser Al-Khulaifi left his office on Emile Zola Street in Boulogne (Paris) to settle in Doha during the Qatar World Cup as one of his country’s best ambassadors abroad.
As another Qatari citizen, he defends his country in an interview with Marca newspaper against criticism coming from the West for hosting the World Cup in his country.
Question: What does hosting the World Cup mean for Qatar?
Answer: It is amazing that there is a World Cup in Qatar and in this region. It unites the entire region across cultures, languages, ages and religions. In recent days, Morocco, Belgium, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other teams from all over the world have played, all playing in a crazy atmosphere.
So passionate about the sport, the facilities, the stadiums, the fans…it’s amazing. All the people here are very proud to welcome the world to Qatar. It is also for families, no hostile environment or problems with the public as you see in Europe. It is a warm, inclusive environment and everyone celebrates it together.
Q: What is your favorite in the World Cup?
A: Of course I support the PSG players 100% and of course Qatar first. I think there could also be some surprises outside of Brazil, even Argentina, who are recovering. We have Spain, undoubtedly Portugal and France, strong teams and also Germany, who will be even stronger if they qualify. Spain is a group of young people playing together. They are a very good team.
Q: Will you leave the Parc des Princes or can you still reach an agreement with the Paris City Council?
c. Our first choice is to stay, but I don’t think the city council wants us to stay. They are pressuring us to leave. We’ve been arguing with them for five years. Every time it’s the same false promises: today, tomorrow, this election, the next election… We are tired of this. We need a fair deal.
I love Princes Park Stadium, it is our history and I respect it more than anything else, and staying has always been our first choice. But I don’t think they want us there. We have invested about 80 million euros in the stadium from our pockets, but this is not our stadium, who else would do something like this?
We want a stadium like the rest of the clubs, we need to increase our income, have a better stadium for our fans, have more fans than we can accommodate. The city council thinks we’re joking, but we’re not and take other options seriously.
We are looking at other alternatives because I think we are no longer welcome at Princes Park. They play with us and we are tired.
Q: It is rumored in France that once the World Cup ends in Qatar, the story between PSG and Qatar ends. Is this true or is it just rumours?
c. This question makes me laugh, I don’t know if I should answer this question honestly, because it seems like a joke to me, right? This is just the beginning of everything we do. We are about to enter a second phase in which we will see amazing growth. Our most exciting days are yet to come for PSG and our entire group.