Pandas sent by China arrive in Qatar ahead of World Cup – BBC
Doha: Chinese technology giant Tencent has sent an advanced database of global sports data to the Middle Eastern nation ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup.The data will be used on Qatar’s national football team to help develop its performance for the tournament.
Tencent is the world’s dominant video game firm, with a market value of $7.4 billion (£5.6bn). It is the world’s single-biggest internet company with 1.4bn active monthly users.
Tencent said it had begun work on the project two months ago, and that the data had been collected in a series of “thousands of hours of video footage and millions of interactions with other teams, fans, referees and journalists.”
Qatar’s soccer team, the national team the Qatari Football Association (QFA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) worked together to develop the new database. Qatar, which is hosting the World Cup, will play the United States and Russia in the tournament.
Tencent did not respond to requests for comment, but Fifa said the project was supported by the organisation. It is understood that work on the database began in 2012 at the request of the QFA’s director, Mohamed Bin Hammam. Fifa is the body that awards the World Cup.
Qatar, a country with a population of 2.6 million, is already a major regional hub for global companies. It is the home base of the state airline Qatar Airways, the first in the Middle East to fly the world’s first Airbus A320. It has also been named as the world’s cleanest city in 2014.
In September Tencent invested £5.3m (13.6m riyals) in a data centre in Qatar, where it will host up to 120,000 web servers and store data from 50,000 websites simultaneously. It will become the centre of a business park, which is expected to be worth £14m a year, if built on the land that is being developed for the 2022 World Cup.