Qatari comedian Hamad al-Amari believes the tournament will showcase the culture of Qatar and the Middle East.

Qatari stand-up comedian Hamad al-Amari believes that WC, that started on Sundayis an opportunity to showcase the country’s rich culture to the world.

In an interview with Al Jazeera’s sports presenter Sana Hamouche, al-Amari also responded to criticism that Qatar had no football heritage.

“Growing up, we played football barefoot. That was what we did as kids. Football is the most watched sport in the country,” he said.

The witty al-Amari, who speaks English with a distinctive Irish lilt and has lived in Ireland for many years, remains unfazed by the criticism leveled at Qatar in the run-up to the tournament.

“I don’t think any other country has been exposed to the things that Qatar has been exposed to in the media,” he said, “and it’s fine, we’re doing it anyway. It happens.”

“It is our responsibility as Qataris to showcase our culture and bring people in, and that is exactly what we are doing,” he said.

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By wy9m6

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