In exactly four years, Qatar will launch its historic 2022 FIFA World Cup at home
It has been something the country has been building up to for almost a decade. And in exactly four years time, that dream will come true when the first ball is kicked to officially open the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha.
With exactly four years to go, Qatar, hosts of the Middle East’s first-ever FIFA World Cup, is gearing up for the sporting extravaganza in right earnest.
The next edition of world football’s showpiece event will kick off on November 21, 2022, and conclude on Qatar National Day — December 18, 2022.
Qatar’s dream began in Zurich, on December 2, 2010, when FIFA President Sepp Blatter took out a tiny piece of paper — with the country’s name on it — officially announcing it as hosts of the 2022 tournament.
Ever since then, Qatar has been building up towards the tournament in the form of eight world-class stadiums as well as superior road infrastructure.
While the iconic Khalifa International Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2006 Doha Asian Games, has already been refurbished to 50,000 seating capacity, seven other stadiums are at different stages of completion.
The new World Cup stadiums that are currently being built are the Al Rayyan Stadium, Al Wakrah Stadium, Education City Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium and Lusail Stadium.
Work on all stadiums are expected to be completed in 2020, a full two years before the first ball is kicked at the 2022 tournament.
The world-class sporting infrastructure will be linked up to the rest of the country via the modern Doha Metro. Recent studies show that around 70% of work on the metro system has already been completed.
The Hamad International Airport has been significantly expanded and it will be ready to welcome millions of fans during the run-up to and the tournament proper. The country’s road network is also being significantly upgraded.
A strong national team
The Qatar Football Association has also been working hard to develop a world-beating team in time for the 2022 event.
Just last week, Qatar stunned World No.8 Switzerland in an international friendly in Lugano and then produced a fighting 2-2 draw against World No.36 Iceland in Eupen, Belgium.
The country’s junior team has also been doing well. They recently finished fourth at the AFC Asian U-19 Championship to qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
In January, Qatar had finished third at the AFC Asian U-23 Championship in China. Young striker Almoez Ali also won the Golden Boot during the tournament.
The senior team is now set to fight for honours at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the UAE (January 5 to February 1).
In June, the senior team will compete in the Copa America tournament to be held in Brazil.