FIFa World Cup is one of the most anticipated events in sports for two reasons; one, this grand international event happens every four years, and two, it is the tournament of the men’s national teams of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or simply known as FIFA, where only best of the best reigns supreme. Fans from all over the world eagerly await the return of this event – which is arguably bigger than Super Bowl, a much-anticipated yearly event watched in the United States.
For those who don’t know, 32 teams, determined to win through a series of qualifying games, compete in the FIFA World Cup. Technically, 31 of those teams undergo a qualification phase because there’s a guaranteed spot for the representative of the host country. Once the set of teams is complete, the association divide them into four groups of eight teams each.
The last World Cup was held in 2018 from June 14 to July 15 in Russia, meaning that the FIFA World Cup is a month-long event, which is just fitting considering the four-year wait from football enthusiasts and the athletes themselves. That said, host countries try their best to make sure that guests will have the best experience while in their territory with various cities contributing to making the venue as memorable for the players as possible.
Most of the countries where the much-awaited games will be held prepare for the big event years in advance and even allot a large chunk of money to finance the construction. The next FIFA World Cup will be held in 2022 in Qatar, the first Arab country to host an international football tournament. Because this Middle Eastern country is famous for its luxuries, we can expect nothing short of a grand affair.
Qatar has already begun making preparations for the FIFA World Cup, despite having three years to go before the event. In mid-December, 2018, the country unveiled the mammoth stadium where the event will take place, further creating a buzz and hype among football fans who aren’t exaggerating when they said the place is gigantic. The stadium can seat up to 80,000 people!
The Lusail Stadium, which is located about 15 kilometers away from Qatar’s capital of Doha, is where the opening and the final games of the 2022 World Cup will happen. The international event will kick off on Nov. 21, 2022, and spectators can expect only the best from this facility.
The stadium serves as a beautiful centerpiece in the city of Lusail, and residents will soon see the entirety of the structure as the body in charge of the organization of the World Cup in the country, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said that construction is about 90 percent complete. Secretary-General Hassan Al Thawadi recently aired the accomplishment and said that this will be one of the legacies of the tournament in the country.
Design and Architecture
The gigantic structure will not be rendered useless after the 2022 World Cup as it will be turned to a multipurpose community hub. The Lusail Stadium is designed by Foster + Partners, which incorporated the Arab architecture into the golden façade, while construction is underway by the HBK Contracting Company and the China Railway Construction Corporation.
The “fanar”-like patterns are reminiscent of the traditional Arab craftsmanship. The substructure is complete while the infrastructure and superstructure are still on progress. Construction is expected to conclude in 2020.
Other Stadium Venues
Meanwhile, the Lusail Stadium is the eighth proposed venue for the World Cup – yup, you read that right. There are eight structures where the games will be held, which FIFA President Gianni Infantino visited in late October.
Despite the Lusail Stadium making noise after its revelation, it is important to note that the remaining venues are as impressive, too. The Khalifa International Stadium, constructed in 1986 making it ready for the event, boasts a capacity of 40,000. It also had hosted the AFC Asian Cup, Gulf Cup, and the Asian Games.
The 40,000-capacity Al Wakrah Stadium, meanwhile, is nearing completion, with the retractable roof now being installed. The construction of the Al Bayt Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,000, is 50 percent complete. Moreover, the Education City, which is located near Qatar’s premier universities, will host the quarter-final games, but after the international event, 20,000 seats will be donated to other countries.
Al Rayyan is constructed on the site of the old Ahmed Bin Ali stadium and will have 40,000 seat capacity. If there’s one that took home a prize for its design, it’s the Al Thumama, whose design took after the gahfiya, or the traditional cap of Arab men, and which had earned the Architectural Review Future Projects Award months ago. Lastly, the Ras Abound will give guests a nice view of the Qatar skyline, but after the tournament, it will be repurposed.