Qatar ticked off another milestone this week after turf was laid for the first time at Lusail Stadium – the 80,000-capacity venue that will host the FIFA World Cup final in December 2022. The finishing touches are now being made to the stadium, which will be the eighth and final tournament venue to be built or redeveloped by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).
Five stadiums have been completed by the SC to-date: Khalifa International (redevelopment), Al Janoub, Education City, Ahmad Bin Ali and Al Bayt. The sixth – Al Thumama – will be inaugurated on 22 October ahead of the Amir Cup Final. The seventh – Ras Abu Aboud – will host its first matches during the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021, a 16-team international tournament that will be held from 30 November to 18 December. In total, six stadiums will be used during the Arab Cup. Only Khalifa International and Lusail will not host matches during the tournament.
Lusail Stadium will host its first matches in 2022. During the World Cup, the venue will host ten matches, including the final on 18 December. Designed by British firm Foster + Partners, the stadium’s design is inspired by the interplay of light and shadow that characterises the fanar lantern. Its shape and façade echo the intricate decorative motifs on bowls, vessels and other art pieces found across the Arab and Islamic world during the rise of civilisation in the region.
Qatar will host the most compact version of the FIFA World Cup in modern times. All the stadiums are in close proximity, with the longest distance between venues just 75km. Fans and players will fly into one airport and stay in only one accommodation during the tournament. Unlike previous tournaments, internal flights and switching training bases have been eliminated – meaning players will have more time for training, rest and recuperation, helping them to stay in peak condition throughout the event.