Preparatory work on Lusail Stadium, the venue for the final of football’s 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar, has begun.

It is hoped that the 80,000-capacity venue, which will be located 20km north of Qatari capital Doha, will be open by 2020.

Last November, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which is responsible for delivering the World Cup’s stadia and infrastructure, announced Qatar-based HBK Contracting and state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation as the venue’s contractor through a joint venture agreement.

The stadium will also host the opening game of the World Cup and the first steps are now being taken to ready the site for construction.

The ground is currently being cleared ahead of development work starting. Up to 7,000 workers will eventually be employed to build the state-of-the-art facility.

Project manager Tamim Loutifi Elabed told the AFP news agency: “Foundations will go in later this year. If you dropped by to visit us the same time next year, you would be happy.”

Elabed added: “At the moment we’re still in the early mobilisation stages so we haven’t hit the first thousand (in terms of workers). We’re at about 500 workers.”