ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AP)Qatar’s emir thanked Vladimir Putin on Thursday for what he said was Russia’s support organizing the upcoming World Cup.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also lauded Russia’s hosting of the soccer tournament in 2018.

”After Russia made a great success in organizing the 2018 World Cup, Russian friends have provided great support to Qatar, especially in terms of organization, with the organizing committee of the 2022 World Cup,” the emir said. ”We thank you for this and we are proud of this relationship. This will continue until the end of the World Cup. I am very happy to see you, Mr. President. Thank you.”

The Russian president wished Qatar success in hosting this year’s event, which starts on Nov. 20.

”We are also doing everything we can in terms of transferring the experience of preparing for the World Cup, you know this, we just had the opportunity to talk about it with you,” Putin said. ”I would like to wish you success in holding this major event. I’m sure that it will be (a success).”

Neither leader specified how exactly Russia had helped Qatar, the first Arab country to host the World Cup.

One area in which Qatar has followed Russia’s example is by requiring fans to sign up for a mandatory ID, known as a Hayya Card. Similarly to the Fan ID scheme Russia introduced in 2018, fans use the digital Hayya Cards to enter the country and can only enter a World Cup stadium if they present a card.

Russia reached the World Cup quarterfinals as host in 2018 but is not playing in Qatar after being barred from the qualifying playoffs following its invasion of Ukraine.

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports