The FIFA World Cup 2022 is all set to begin on 20th November, 2022. Host nation Qatar will be locking horns with Ecuador to kick off the competition. The previous edition of the mega event remained witness to a young French side, under the tutelage of Didier Deschamps, lifting the trophy. This time however, countries like Argentina, England and Brazil are considered to be the favourites.
The year 2010 marked Qatar earning the hosting rights of the FIFA World Cup 2022. In the process, the Gulf country defeated four other nations to secure its right. The countries were notably, Australia, South Korea, Japan and USA.
In order to host such a tournament, an ecstatic infrastructure was demanded. The Government of the country worked on the same and developed a number of stadiums which will be acting as the venues for the fixtures.
A total of 65 matches will be covered across eight different stadiums. The opening match is scheduled to be at the Al Bayt Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,000 seats. Five group stage fixtures will be played here apart from three knockout stage games. Other stadiums such as the Al Janoub Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Education City Stadium, Stadium 974 and Al Thumama Stadium will also witness both group stage and knockout fixtures.
Meanwhile, the venue with the highest capacity, Lusail Stadium will host the final of the prestigious event in addition to the other games (five group stage games and one Round of 16, Quarter-final and Semi-final each). The stadium boasts of a capacity of 80,000.
The most astonishing feature of the Qatar World Cup is not exactly the stadiums, but the tent hotel system introduced in order to accommodate the travelling fans from abroad. Moreover, the tents which resemble Bedouin tents will be situated in the desert. Notably, the aforementioned ground, Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor is also inspired from the similar structure!
On 18th August, FIFA declared that a total of 2.45 million tickets have already been sold for the competition. More than half a million of them were sold between 5th and 16th July, as informed by the apex body. Thus, even though controversies surrounded the event taking place in Qatar, the fan turnout will be at its best.
Though not a giant, Qatar is not a new name in football. The sport was introduced in the country way back in the late 1940s. The first-ever stadium was the Doha Stadium which was inaugurated in 1962. Back in the early 1970s, it was the only grass football pitch present in Qatar. The stadium went on to witness the mastery of Brazilian legend Pele in February, 1973, who was playing for Santos back then.
Qatar have been the finalists of the 1981 FIFA U-20 World Cup (Australia). Their trade in the competition remained witness to triumph against heavyweights of the sport, Brazil and England.
The nation has also taken part in the Olympics and hosted the AFC Asian Cup.
This is not the first time Qatar will be hosting a FIFA event. Back in 1995, the nation hosted the U-20 edition of the competition. The national team has won the Asian Games (2006) as well. However, their recent success came in the AFC Asian Cup 2019, where they defeated top Asian country Japan by 3-1 to earn their most prestigious accolade ever.
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