Calgary soccer fan who worked on Qatar World Cup committee is ready for the trip of a lifetime – Calgary

For 18 years, Bruce Hallady and his family made Qatar their home. It’s where his children were born and raised – a place they call their second home.

The Calgary IT professional spent the last of those years on the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy – the entity responsible for overseeing all construction and infrastructure projects for the World Cup.

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“It’s the most technically enabled World Cup ever,” Halladay said from his home in Calgary on Friday. “The technology that is being deployed to showcase the country and run the tournament itself is beyond anything that has been done before.”

During his years on the committee, Halladay laid the groundwork for the World Tournament’s computer systems.

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“I still feel like I own a small part of what the country has been able to offer,” Halladay said with a laugh.

Now, four years after leaving Qatar, he is packing his bags and feeling excited to not only see the results of his hard work, but also to see Canada compete.

“I feel like the teenager I was the last time they qualified. I just can’t wait to go back. It will be a great experience and having Canada present just puts the icing on the cake,” said Halladay.

Halladay grew up playing soccer in Calgary with the Blizzard Soccer Club and remains a huge fan of the game.

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“I played until I was 20. It was always my favorite sport so it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. It all came together. It’s something I will cherish forever,” Halladay said.

He hopes young people will be inspired both to play football and the fan experience that comes with improved technology.

“The world is becoming so technologically advanced. The world will need smart people to manage this technology in the future and use it for good purposes,” Halladay said. “But also grassroots soccer, and I hope people in Canada will see the men’s national team finally get to the level the women have been at for years and have men’s and women’s teams now at that level. I love the sport and I just hope it continues to grow in the country.

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The 2022 World Cup will start on Sunday, November 20. Canada is scheduled to play its first match against Belgium on Wednesday 23 November.

Qatar’s World Cup has been the subject of controversy ever since FIFA named it the host country in 2010.

Concerns have been raised over the reported treatment of migrant workers building World Cup infrastructure and Qatar’s stance on LGTBQ2 rights has been criticized.

Ottawa is warning Canadians visiting Qatar to encourage the men’s national soccer team to “dress conservatively” and “behave discreetly”.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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