Doha – With one month to go until the opening game, AFP Sport runs the rule over the eight stadiums which will host matches at this year’s World Cup in Qatar: –
Lusail Iconic Stadium (80,000 capacity) Qatar’s biggest stadium will host the final on December 18 as well as, amongst other matches, the first semi-final.
Built-in Lusail, a planned city for a population of 200,000 people situated 15 kilometers north of central Doha, there are plans for the stadium to be transformed into a community hub after the World Cup, with most of its seats being removed and donated elsewhere.
– Al-Khor, Al-Bayt Stadium (60,000)
The venue for the opening game between Qatar and Ecuador on November 20, as well as the group-stage showdown between Spain and Germany and the second semi-final. It is constructed in the form of a Bedouin tent although there are plans for the upper tier to be removed after the competition.
Situated on Qatar’s northeast coast, around 35 kilometers from Doha, it is therefore beyond the reach of the capital’s metro system, making it one of the harder venues to access for supporters. – Al-Rayyan, Education City Stadium (40,000) Situated among university campuses in Al-Rayyan, just to the west of Doha itself, and reachable by metro, the stadium will notably host one of the quarter-finals. Its capacity will be reduced by half after the tournament with plans for the seats to be donated to developing countries.
Al-Rayyan, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium (40,000) The home of one of Qatar’s most successful clubs, Al-Rayyan, the stadium has been built on the site of the old venue of the same name and is one metro stop beyond the nearby Education City. Located where the city meets the desert, its capacity will also be reduced by half after the tournament.
– Doha, Khalifa International Stadium (40,000)
Built in 1976, it is the only venue that already existed before Qatar was awarded the World Cup, although it has since been transformed. Hosted the 2011 Asian Cup final and also the final of the 2019 Club World Cup between Liverpool and Flamengo. Will host England’s opening clash with Iran.
Doha, Al-Thumama Stadium (40,000): Situated to the south of central Doha, close to the city’s Hamad International Airport, the stadium is built in the form of a gahfiya, the traditional cap worn by men across the Middle East. It will host one of the quarter-finals, while its capacity will be reduced to 20,000 after the World Cup.
Doha, Stadium 974 (40,000): Built out of shipping containers on Doha’s waterfront, the pop-up stadium will be completely dismantled after the World Cup. The number 974 is the international dialling code for Qatar but also represents the number of containers used for the stadium’s construction.
Al-Wakrah, Al-Janoub Stadium (40,000): Located south of Doha in the city of Al-Wakrah, the stadium’s design was inspired by the traditional boats used for pearl diving and fishing.