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Qatar 2022: Sixth World Cup Stadium to be unveiled on October 22

Al Thumama

Bengaluru, October 20: Qatar is fully geared up to the host the 2022 FIFA World Cup as the sixth venue - Al Thumama Stadium -- will be unveiled on Friday (October 22) when it hosts prestigious Emir's Cup final between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan.

In a break from the normal tradition of hosting the FIFA World Cup in the June-July window, Qatar 2022 will be held in winter with the tournament starting on November 21 and ending on December 18 to coincide with the Qatar National Day.

Qatar, who are the reigning Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup champions are building eight stadiums for biggest football show on earth.

Five stadiums -- Khalifa International, Al Janoub, Educational City, Al Rayyan and Al Bayt -- are already complete and hosted many matches amidst the raging novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Main work on two more tournament venues -- Ras Abu Aboud and Lusail - will be complete by the year end.

Qatar 2022 will be a 28-day affair as the country is set to host the first FIFA World Cup to be held in Middle East and the entire Arab world.

There could not have been a better match than the final of the 49th edition of Emir's Cup between Qatar Stars League (QSL) clubs Al Rayyan and Al Sadd to set the ball rolling at Al Thumama.

Steeped in the culture, history and symbolism of Qatar and the region, the 40,000-seat stadium will matches right through to the quarterfinals.

Located 12km south of Doha's glittering skyline and seafront promenade, the stadium designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah represents the gahfiya - a traditional woven cap worn people across the Middle East.

Stadium design

Stadium design

The gahfiya forms a fundamental layer of the traditional clothing of the region. It is also a symbol of dignity and independence.

In May 2018, the venue's design won acclaim when it earned the MIPIM/The Architectural Review Future Project Award.

Stadium legacy

Stadium legacy

During Qatar 2022, the stadium will host eight matches up to and including the quarterfinals stage. The venue will also be a prominent host of the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021, with six matches up to and including the semi-finals stage being played at the venue.

After Qatar 2022, the stadium's capacity will be reduced to 20,000 and used for football and other sporting events, with the dismantled sporting infrastructure to be donated to developing nations.

Qatar Classico

Qatar Classico

There could not have been a better match than the final of the 49th edition of Emir's Cup between Qatar Stars League (QSL) clubs Al Rayyan and Al Sadd to set the ball rolling at Al Thumama.

Dubbed the Qatar Classico, the match-up between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd will see a number of prominent players take to the pitch. Both teams have a combined 23 titles between them, and enjoy tremendous support across the country.

Blanc vs Xavi

Blanc vs Xavi

Al Sadd remain the only Qatari team to have won the AFC Champions League, with the first continental title coming in 1989 when a Khalid Salman free-kick helped them beat Iraqi side Al Rasheed in the final. Leading Qatar internationals in the Al Sadd squad include goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb, midfielders Hassan Al Haydos and Akram Afif, and left-back Abdulkarim Hassan, who was named AFC Footballer of the Year in 2018. Off the pitch, both clubs are coached by FIFA World Cup winners. Al Rayyan coach Laurent Blanc lifted the trophy with France in 1998, while Al Sadd boss Xavi Hernandez helped Spain to glory in 2010.

The stage is set for the highly anticipated clash between two of the country's biggest clubs as Qatar is well on track on host the biggest football show on earth next year.

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Story first published: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 14:34 [IST]
Other articles published on Oct 19, 2021