Here we speak to Ricardo Trade, who was recently appointed as the Deputy CEO of Operations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™ and who has served as the CIES Coordinator in Brazil since 2013. He shares with us his enthusiasm for his new responsibilities and confirms the importance of volunteers at major sporting events. He invites students and alumni of the FIFA/CIES International University Network to keep an eye on the Qatar 2022 volunteer programme.
How does it feel to be part of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™ Organisation Team?
I feel lucky to be part of the Qatar 2022 project!
As a sports management professional, having previously been involved in the organisation of the World Cup in Brazil, the opportunity to actively cooperate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ is really exciting.
Qatar is an incredible country. I first visited it back in 2010 as part of my role with the Brazil World Cup team and it is a country I have admired ever since. I returned to Qatar in 2015, as a consultant for the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), and again in 2020, as a member of the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) for the FIFA Club World Cup ™ held in Doha. My role then was to help promote Brazil's bid for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 ™.
Coming from a family of Arab heritage - my grandparents moved from Lebanon all the way to Brazil at the beginning of the 19th century - I am proud to be part of this historic moment for the Middle East and Arab world, and play a role in promoting Qatar and the country’s amazing culture.
What are your duties within the Qatar 2022 Organising Committee?
I currently occupy the position of Deputy CEO of Operations. I am responsible for ensuring that all of the operational functions within the Qatar 2022 Organising Committee work closely together to deliver a wonderful World Cup next year. We have to achieve the promise Qatar has made to football fans all over the world.
Does your appointment embody the notion of "knowledge transfer"? In what way?
Over the years I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience as a sports manager and expertise as CEO for the successful 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil ™. Today, it is extremely motivating to be here in Qatar to transfer some of this knowledge to the team working for the next FIFA World Cup ™. I strongly believe that knowledge transfer is key to long-term development, sustainability and success of sport events. Consequently, it is great to have this opportunity to share.
In concrete terms, I am working with a team of enthusiastic professionals who are also transferring their own knowledge and expertise to the wider team in charge of the competition. This concerns many areas, to name a few accommodation, ticketing, transportation, spectator services, venue management and several other functional areas. The transfer takes place in the design of projects, when we define procedures, in formal meetings or even in informal discussions. Sharing our skills and experiences will ensure we deliver an unforgettable FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar next year.
Can former students of the FIFA/CIES Programme play a role in the organisation of international competitions such as Qatar 2022?
Of course, alumni of the FIFA/CIES University Network can still play a role in the upcoming FIFA World Cup™. I am regularly communicating with them directly through social media platforms, encouraging them to share their resumes with the relevant team here in Qatar. I would like as many of them as possible to benefit from this opportunity and join us in making history as we prepare for the Middle East’s first FIFA World Cup™. I would encourage anyone who is interested to visit the Qatar 2022 LinkedIn for more details on recruitment and keep a look out for our Qatar 2022 volunteering programme that is set to launch very soon!
There will be a huge number of opportunities for people to get involved. We will need everyone from first time volunteers such as students, to veteran volunteers from around the world to take part, so that together we can deliver a great experience for visitors in 2022.
How important are volunteers in delivering the FIFA World Cup ™ ?
FIFA and any tournament host country understands the true value of volunteering programmes. Indeed, volunteers play an integral role in mega events. It is impossible to deliver a FIFA World Cup™ without them. They are one of the fundamental components for a successful event. They convey passion, friendliness, and helpfulness and play an important role in creating a positive lasting impression of the host country with foreign visitors by ensuring the latter have a memorable experience.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Volunteer Programme is expected to be the largest sustained activation and engagement of volunteers in Qatar’s history. Through the power of football, it aims to bring the best people together to showcase the true spirit of Qatar. The programme will combine passionate people from Qatar and around the world. It will be a real melting pot of opportunities, skills and tools to support the competition.
Volunteer roles will include everything from spectator support, media and guest operations, sustainability processes, language services, transport, accreditation, and many others. Volunteers will be at the very heart of the tournament and will play a crucial to ensure that the tournament runs smoothly.
What qualities should volunteers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ have?
Most importantly motivation and passion for meeting new people!
Volunteers should be committed, dedicated, and available. When it comes to communicating, multi-lingual with a strong command of English is always helpful, with Arabic a major plus for 2022, of course. Volunteers should also have the ability to learn rapidly, be a good team player, be quick problem solvers and possess good interpersonal and communication skills that enable them to engage with fans from every corner of the globe.
Any special words for the members of the FIFA/CIES International University Network?
Knowledge! Knowledge is key to move forward, to achieve, and to leave a positive footprint in sport wherever you go and with whatever you do. You should never stop learning. Participate in sports events, volunteer whenever you can to meet new people, learn, ask questions. You will be surprised with what you can achieve.