This will be the first time that the quadrennial event will be held in November-December.
The match schedule for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar has been officially announced. Hosts Qatar will kick things off on November 21, 2022, at the Al Bayt Stadium with the final taking place a month later at the Lusail Stadium on December 18. This is the first World Cup to be ever held in the Middle East whilst also making additional history as the first edition to be held in November-December.
The tournament will last around 28 days with four matches to be played per day during the group stages. Moreover, no air travel will be required for teams to navigate between the eight venues. On that note, let us check out the mesmerizing stadiums selected to host the games during the tournament and their respective capacities.
5. Al Janoub Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Al Rayyan Stadium – 40,000
Located on the edge of a desert, the Al Rayyan Stadium is a multi-purpose arena that boasts a capacity of around 40,000 and is freshly built on the site of the previous Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium. Next up is the Al Thumama Stadium, which is a beautiful ground, whose design resembles the traditional Arabic headwear, the gahfiya and it too can accommodate a similar number of spectators.
The Al Janoub Stadium is the first stadium to be built completely from scratch for the upcoming World Cup. It also hosted the Amir Cup final between Al Duhail and Al-Sadd that is better remembered for being the last game of Barcelona and Spanish great Xavi Hernandez’s remarkable career. Meanwhile, the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be one of the most innovatively constructed stadiums as it is supposed to be built using shipping containers, removable seats, and other ‘modular building blocks,’ which will make it the World Cup’s first reusable stadium.
4. Education City Stadium – 45,350
As is the case with the rest of the venues selected for the quadrennial event, it is an incredibly aesthetically pleasing construction. It is the third-completed venue for the tournament. As its name would suggest, the stadium is surrounding by the finest universities, which possess some of the brightest minds that the country has to offer. The arena will have a capacity of around 45,350 but will be reduced to it’s half following the World Cup, with plans in place to donate the seats to stadiums in developing countries that lack the necessary sporting infrastructure.
3. Khalifa International Stadium – 45,416
Home of the Qatar National Football team, the Khalifa International Stadium was built in 1976 in Al Rayyan. However, it was renovated in 2017, with its overall capacity improving significantly and now reportedly stands at a notable 45,416. The venue has great historical significance having played host to a number of important events such as the Asian Games, Gulf Cup, and the AFC Asian Cup to name a few.
Five matches of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, including the final between Liverpool and Flamengo, was contested in this arena. It was the first tournament-ready stadium and it even was the site for the 2019 World Athletic Championship. Lastly, the play-off for third place in the World Cup will be played at this iconic destination on December 17, 2022.
2. Al Bayt Stadium – 60,000
As aforementioned, the Al Bayt Stadium in the city of Al Khor will host the opening game of the World Cup. With a capacity of around 60,000, the stadium will be the second biggest venue in the 22nd edition of the tournament. It’s construction is also nearing completion with the early images of the stadium promising it to be one of the most beautiful sporting venues in the world.
A unique tent-like structure symbolizes the heritage of the region as nomadic people historically used tents in Qatar and other Gulf areas. It’s retractable roof system and other modern cooling technology will ensure a pleasant viewing presence for all the travelling spectators. Furthermore, it’s picturesque structure will certainly make it one of the most delightful locations to ever host a game of football.
1. Lusail Stadium – 80,000
Located in Lusail City, outside of capital city Doha, the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium will be the destination for the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. It is the largest stadium by capacity, with construction still undergoing ahead of the stage piece event.
The majestic stadium will be a symbol of Qatar’s growing sporting ambitions and its exquisite architecture is bound to spellbind its viewers. On completion of the World Cup, there are plans made to donate most of the seats to sporting projects around the globe to spread the legacy of the competition. In addition, the venue might be converted into a community space, thereby cementing itself as an essential destination in the state-of-the-art city.