Two Years to Go: Countdown to FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Draws Closer
Saturday, 21 November, marked exactly two years until the next and ground-breaking edition of the FIFA World Cup. The event will be held in the Middle East for the first time and guarantees a unique experience for audiences from around the world in 2022.
Among the many distinctive features, travelling fans will have the opportunity to attend more than one match a day during the group stage, which will feature an exciting schedule with four daily fixtures, as announced earlier this year.
Infrastructure planned for the event has reached 90% completion, with three completed stadiums – Khalifa International, Al Janoub and Education City – safely hosting over 100 matches in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Three more tournament venues are in the final stages of construction: Al Rayyan, Al Bayt and Al Thumama. The main works at the remaining two stadiums – Ras Abu Aboud and Lusail – are set to be completed in 2021.
Countrywide infrastructure is also being delivered at a rapid pace, including the state-of-the-art Doha Metro – which has been successfully utilised by fans during the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019 – new roads and the expansion of Hamad International Airport, set to cater to more than 50 million visitors a year by 2022.
According to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, 2020 has been a challenging year for the entire world, and football was no exception. However, he said that despite the difficulties, steady progress was made in the last few months, showing yet again Qatar’s strong and continued commitment – under the leadership of the Amir – to hosting an unforgettable FIFA World Cup in two years’ time, which will no doubt build a legacy that is beyond 2022.
As #Qatar expects more than 1.5 million visitors ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Doha Metro will play a key role in transporting fans across the country. #SeeYouIn2022 pic.twitter.com/3ykI135ub6
— مكتب الاتصال الحكومي (@GCOQatar) November 20, 2020
Besides the very important labour reforms recently announced by the government, progress has also been made on stadium construction, along with the implementation of strict measures to protect workers’ health.
During my short visit to Doha a few weeks ago, I witnessed first-hand how well preparations have advanced, and I am looking forward with confidence to Qatar 2022, for the transformative impact it is already having on the country and the region, for the unique experience it will provide fans from all over the world and, of course, for witnessing the best World Cup ever.
HE Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, added that they are immensely proud of the progress made over the last ten years. He said that both tournament and national infrastructure projects are well advanced, with everything on track to be completed ahead of the big kick-off.
Our legacy projects, meanwhile, are already having an impact on people’s lives in areas such as workers’ rights, education and entrepreneurship.
HE Al Thawadi added that this is an incredibly important FIFA World Cup – for Qatar, the region and the world. Qatar 2022, he said, will introduce billions of people to the Middle East and to the Arab world, help foster greater understanding and break down stereotypes that people may have of the country and the region.
We’re very excited to welcome the world in 2022.
Qatar will host the most compact version of the FIFA World Cup in modern times. All the stadiums are in close proximity to one another and will be linked by an ultra-modern transport infrastructure, meaning short travel times for fans, players and media. Visitors will be able to stay in one location throughout the tournament and will not be required to take any internal flights. The longest distance between stadiums is 75 km (Al Bayt to Al Janoub), while the shortest is just 5 km (Education City to Al Rayyan).
Opening and final match
In July, it was confirmed that the opening match would take place at the stunning Al Bayt Stadium, a 60,000-capacity venue designed to resemble a traditional tent used in the Arab world. The final game will be staged at the 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium on 18 December 2022 – Qatar National Day, which is a public holiday.
First Bespoke FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Aircraft
Qatar Airways, official partner and official airline of FIFA, also unveiled a specially-branded Boeing 777 aircraft painted in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 livery, to mark the two years until the tournament kicks off.
The bespoke aircraft features distinctive hand-painted FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 branding to commemorate the airline’s partnership with FIFA. More aircraft in the Qatar Airways fleet will feature the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 livery.
For updates and more information about FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, visit fifa.com.