Qatar’s Khalifa International Stadium is set to host the 2017 Emir Cup final on Friday, becoming the first proposed host venue for the 2022 Fifa World Cup to open.
The Qatar Football Association (QFA) announced that the stadium would be inaugurated for the May 19 game with the clash between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd.
Khalifa International Stadium has undergone extensive renovation work to meet compliance standards with Fifa, while also adding new features that fit the requirements such as additional seating, installation of cooling technology, and the construction of a sports museum within the venue.
The stadium will host games up to the quarter-final for the 2022 World Cup, as well as the 2019 World Athletics Championships.
The 40,000-capacity stadium will be completely cooled for the Emir Cup final, with an inauguration ceremony set to take place before the game kicks off. Additionally, a social evening will be organised for spectators and families, which will include cultural programmes and a food festival.
The spectator area within the Khalifa International Stadium is now covered by a roof, with an intricate net of German and Italian-made steel tension cables weighing 4,000 tonnes having been put up to hold the 92 panels in place.
“The completion of our first stadium for the 2022 Fifa World Cup is an important milestone for Qatar and reflects our commitment to delivering all of the proposed venues well in advance of the tournament,” said H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, which is responsible for delivering infrastructure and stadia for the World Cup.
“This is a venue which holds a very special place in Qatar’s sporting history, and over the years we have seen some of the greatest football players from Qatar and the region make their mark here as well as world stars. This renovated stadium features many of the innovative elements, such as the new cooling technology, which we promised during our bid. We are excited to see the players take to the pitch for the game, and to welcome fans to the renovated stadium this Friday for an exciting match-day experience.”
Other venues still under construction for the Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup include Al Bayt Stadium, Qatar Foundation Stadium, Al Wakrah Stadium, Al Rayyan Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Ras Abu Aboud Stadium and Al Thumama Stadium.