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Opoku Agyemang revels in Qatar World Cup bid success

Opoku Agyemang of Qatari side Al Sadd
Opoku Agyemang is confident Qatar can put on a successful World Cup

By Ibrahim Sannie, BBC Sport

Ghana winger Opoku Agyemang is sure Qatar can put on a successful World Cup despite scepticism from some quarters.

The tiny Gulf state was handed the rights to host the tournament in 2022 on Thursday sparking some criticism.

But Agyemang, who plays for Qatari side Al Sadd, is convinced that Qatar will host one of the best World Cups ever.

"I have played in this country for two years and I am sure the World Cup in 2022 will be one of the best and I am happy for them," Agyemang said.

"Having played for my country in top international tournaments, I am convinced that the people of Qatar will do everything to make it a successful World Cup.

"When the Qataris started their bid to clinch the rights to host the World Cup, everyone was very serious about it including the ruler of the country.

Qatar win right to host 2022 World Cup

"They see this as a major opportunity to show the world what they can do. The opened their arms to welcome me to this country and they will welcome the world with open arms."

The main criticism Qatar has faced with is the weather as the temperature rises up to 50 degrees Celsius in July and July when the tournament is held.

But with the proposed state-of-the-art technology to cool the stadia, which is already operational at Al Sadd's stadium, Opoku is confident the tournament will be safe for players and fans.

"I am from Ghana where the temperature is similar to the one we have here so I don't have any problems at all," the 21-year-old told BBC Sport from his base in Doha.

"I don't think that Africans players and fans coming for the tournament will have problems with this weather because we already play matches under similar conditions.

"For those who are coming from different climates, the cooling systems which have been proposed by the Qatar bid will make them feel comfortable because I have seen it work at the Al Sadd stadium.

"They will face no problems with the heat, there's no crime here and they will enjoy the famous Arab hospitality."

The opened their arms to welcome me to this country and they will welcome the world with open arms.

Agyemang says the World Cup will enjoy massive local support because Qataris are loyal football fans.

"We were training when the announcement came that Qatar had won the bid and training ended abruptly as we started celebrating the success because people here love the game," he said.

"Qataris like football very much but because Qatar is a small country not many people know about what happens in the country.

"The way they attends matches, support their teams and even the way they celebrated the bid success must show the world that Qataris like football.

"When I made my decision to move to Qatar, people in Ghana questioned me because they think Europe is the best destinations for players.

"But with the progress I have made here, people in Ghana have changed their mentality about football in Qatar."

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see also
A World Cup miracle
02 Dec 10 |  Football
English media angry at Fifa 'fix'
03 Dec 10 |  Football
World Cup vote photos
02 Dec 10 |  Football
Qatar keeps cool as heat is turned up
25 Nov 10 |  Football

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