Interview with Mr. Al-Kazim

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Mr. Yousuf Ali Al-Kazim – Doha conquered the hearts
Mr. Yousuf Ali Al-Kazim is the Vice-President of the Asian Boxing Confederation and also he is the President of the Qatar Boxing Federation which association hosted the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Doha.
We have asked Mr. Al-Kazim about his thoughts, opinion and the performance of the local and Asian boxers in an interview.
– What was your opinion about the Doha 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championships which was the main event of the year?
– It has been a huge success. It has once again put Qatar on the map as a global sports hub and showcased our ability to host major international sports events. AIBA have said that this World Championship have set a new benchmark, while the athletes have informed us that they have never experienced better facilities. All in all we are very happy after the year-long preparation.
– What were the biggest issues, problems in the preparations to such a big event as the AIBA World Boxing Championship?
– For us there were no problems, only challenges which we relish and challenges that we have solved in perfect way. If I had to pick one issue, which I firmly believe we worked out really well in the end, it would have to be the arrivals of the boxing superstars such as Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and the Klichko brothers. We knew it was going to cause quite hysteria among sport fans in Doha, but it was a nice, controlled one.
– What objectives were the main strengths of your organization?
– First of all experience, boosted by the vision and support of Qatar Olympic Committee President H.H. Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani and Secretary General H.E. Dr. Thani Al Kuwari and their experts in the most important areas of logistics, branding and media support.
– How did you feel yourself personally during the whole championships?
– It is difficult to describe, as I am still very much in a sort of live event mode. I feel focused and inspired by seeing this wonderful event taking place in my country. I could watch over 10 days of incredible boxing actions here at the state-of-the-art Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena.
– Which was the biggest success of the LOC in the event?
– In order to be a successful host for such a prestigious event as the AIBA World Boxing Championships, there is not one particular area that needs to work well – it is the combination of all departments working together in one coherent and dynamic organism.
– How did you feel the atmosphere of the Doha AIBA World Boxing Championships?
– It was incredible! Tickets were sold out and local communities came out in force to support their boxing heroes. We had great support and cooperation with the embassies in Doha, and the response was beyond our wildest dreams. People flocked to the arena with flags and banners, and it was amazing to feel the capacity crowd singing, cheering and chanting – people from the Philippines. India, Ireland and Cuba. In many ways the crowd represented the multinational city what Doha is which was great to see in the arena.
– Are the foreigners respected your hospitability? How did you see it during the AIBA World Boxing Championships?
– We have received feedbacks from everyone such as from ambassadors to media to the athletes and all were satisfied with our services. I think they are all happy with Doha as host to world boxing’s signature event, and that they leave Qatar with best memories. We have done everything to make sure about it.
– What are your personal thoughts about the performance of the Qatari boxers?
– It was great experience for our local boxers to be able to compete on the world stage on home soil for the first time in history, and in front of friends and families. Although we love boxing as much as anyone, boxing in Qatar and the Middle East is still very much an emerging sport, so hopefully this experience will have inspired both the team and next generation of boxing heroes. I think they did their country proud.
– How do you see Qatar’s boxing life in the future? Will the AIBA World Boxing Championships have a big impact in Qatar?
– There is no question about that. We have already seen the effects by the capacity crowds here in Doha. Through these AIBA World Boxing Championships we have laid the foundations for the future, and we will continue to develop the sport in years to come. When we won the bid to be hosts for the global boxing elite, we wanted to make the boxing sport come to life across Qatar and in the Middle East, and to ensure that it left a lasting legacy for years to come. I think we succeeded with that vision, and hopefully we will definitely see concrete results. The event became one celebration based on sporting action, inspiration, health and wellbeing across the country and the region. We set up a big fan zone outside the arena which has been packed with people of all ages, but especially children, throughout the competition. We also made sure that when the boxing legends such as Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao were visiting, they engaged in meaningful activities with young people in this fan zone. I think it’s fair to say that Doha 2015 did a big impression for the next generation.