FIFA has proposed to make Arabic its fifth official language, after the four current languages of English, German, Spanish and French.
The football governing body disclosed this in a statement on its website Saturday, marking “the UN’s World Arabic Language Day and the culmination of the inaugural FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021.”
Quoting FIFA president Gianni Infantino, the statement said, the “proposal stems from long-term discussions with stakeholders in Qatar and those across the MENA region, and coincides with the conclusion of the FIFA Arab Cup, which successfully brought together 23 national teams in a celebration of football and unity across the Middle East and Arab world.”
FIFA added that Mr Infantino’s propose is “In recognition of the importance of the Arabic language, which is spoken not only by the 450 million people that live in the more than 20 Arabic-speaking countries but also by millions of Arabs worldwide.”
This development comes as Qatar is in top gear to host the World Cup next year.