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Tribune News Network
As the world awaits, hosts Qatar revealed the FIFA World Cup 2022 stadiums for the opening and final matches as also the match schedule of the tournament, two years ahead of the global sporting event.
Qatar will play the opening match at the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium at 1 pm (1000 GMT) on November 21, 2022.
The final will be in the 80,000-strong Lusail Stadium on December 18.
The group stage will last 12 days and with all eight tournament stadiums in or close to the Qatari capital Doha, offers a unique opportunity, according to FIFA. Kick-offs will be at 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm and 10 pm with the final rounds played simultaneously at 6pm and 10pm.
Commenting on the occasion, Nasser Al Khater, CEO of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 said, “The opening match will take place at the Al Bayt Stadium which is a true symbol and reflection of our hospitality, of our culture here in Qatar and in the region.
It resembles a tent which we call Bayt Al Shahar, it’s a very impressive structure and we look forward to welcoming fans in 2022.
“The World Cup in Qatar will have uniquely four matches played per day. Being a compact country, scheduling four matches a day is going to be quite unique, it’s going to give people the opportunity to attend more than one match per day.
“It does come with its challenges, which means we need to make sure that operationally we plan it right. We schedule matches depending on the locations of the stadiums, however a lot of the benefits are people who aren’t attending the World Cup get to watch the World Cup at very convenient times, just by the fact of Qatar’s location, in the region or in the world means that 3.5 billion people get to watch the World Cup at very convenient times.”
On getting closer to the sporting extravaganza, he said, “We’re excited, I mean the whole team is excited with two years to go. Obviously there’s still a lot of work to be done. The past 10 years we were really focusing on infrastructure, whether they are the stadiums, the training sites, the road networks, the metro. All of that is coming nicely into place right now, with more than 90% of the work finished on the roads and in the infrastructure.
“When we talk about stadiums more than 85% of the work has been complete, and really now the last two years we’re focusing on our operational readiness and making sure we get the fan experience plans in place.”
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