Everything’s going according to plan
Qatar is in the process of building up its infrastructure in time for the 2022 World Cup, which could see it be become one of the greatest tournaments in the history of sport, according to FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
The Italian visited the Persian Gulf state earlier this week to get a personal view on developments, and he was especially impressed the way in which the stadium construction was progressing, online sportsbook news report.
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He stressed the 2022 World Cup will give football fans across the globe a unique opportunity to get a taste of a new culture and region that has so far been undiscovered by many, mainly due to its geographical location and relative miniscule size.
Infantino began his tour of the grounds with the 40,000-seater Al Wakrah Stadium in the city of Al Wakrah (80,000 population) which is just 15 km south of the country’s capital Doha. He then went on a helicopter ride to view the other venues while also being one of the first people to use the new Doha Metro.
“The stadium (Al Wakrah) is very impressive. When you enter here, you can immediately feel how imposing it is, and you can see the progress which is being made here four years before kick-off. […]I think this World Cup is extremely important, not only far Qatar but for the whole region can offer; for football, but also for anybody in the world to come and visit a beautiful place, learn about a new culture and meet new people.”
Sad truth behind the 2022 World Cup stadiums
Qatar will feature a total of eight stadiums for the 2022 World Cup once complete, with four of them being in Doha and the rest in four other towns. Previous editions of the tournament in recent memory normally made use of ten or twelve venues, but since Qatar’s geographical size is somewhat limited, it wouldn’t make too much sense to have additional stadiums.
Additionally, since Qatar doesn’t have an established footballing culture (for the time being, at least), the stadiums that are currently being constructed have a more modest capacity, compared to some iconic grounds in Europe that boast a far greater number of seats.
Six of the venues have a capacity of around 40,000, while the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor (57km north of Doha) is slated to seat 60,000 fans, according to online sportsbooks in United Arab Emirates. The 86,000-capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium in Lusail (merely 23 km north of Doha) will be the biggest ground of the 2022 World Cup, and it will host both the opening match and the final itself, along with a number of other group and knockout phase games.
Despite all of these venues looking spectacular based on preliminary digital designs, there is a distressing concern associated with building these mega projects. The speed at which these stadiums are being built and the unsafe construction environments have led to a huge death toll that FIFA and Infantino himself have failed (perhaps intentionally) highlight and bring to life.
It’s understandable they want to avoid controversy (as staging a World Cup is a huge business after all), but what’s quite controversial is that football’s governing authority has done nothing to address this dire issue.