The nation of Qatar is requiring attendees of the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup to be vaccinated, The Associated Press reported on Sunday.
Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani reportedly told newspaper editors that the country is working on securing 1 million vaccines doses so fans can be able to watch the tournament.
“We are currently negotiating with a company to provide one million vaccine doses against the coronavirus for the immunization of those coming to the FIFA World Cup Qatar,” Sheikh Khalid said, according to the AP report. “Our primary goal in vaccinating the unvaccinated is to protect the public health of citizens and residents.”
Sheikh Khalid also said that most countries will have their citizens fully vaccinated by the time the tournament begins but acknowledged some countries might not be able to do so, t he AP noted.
“Due to the possibility that some countries will not be able to vaccinate all their citizens, Qatar will not allow fans to enter stadiums without receiving a full vaccination against the virus,” Sheikh Khalid said.
"FIFA takes note of the plan announced by Qatar’s Prime Minister and is grateful for the host country’s continued efforts to provide the best possible conditions for fans attending the FIFA World Cup in 2022, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic," a FIFA spokesperson said to The Hill
"In all such matters, we will keep working closely with our counterparts, while also monitoring how the situation evolves globally."
Qatar, which won its bid to host a World Cup in 2010, has seen criticism in the past few years over claims of human rights violations over the treatment of workers who are building the eight stadiums qualifying teams will compete in.
The country has seen 220,800 COVID-19 cases and 58 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, the AP noted.
The World Cup is scheduled to start in November 2022.
--Updated on June 22 at 2:27 p.m.