The official opening of Doha’s Education City Stadium, one of the host venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, has been pushed back until early 2020.
As a result, Khalifa International Stadium will now host three additional matches during the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup. Education City Stadium had been due to stage the final, third-place play-off match and one semi-final during the Club World Cup but these three matches will now be held at Khalifa International Stadium.
Khalifa International Stadium, which has a capacity of 45,416, had already been scheduled to host the fifth-place play-off and the semi-final involving Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo. UEFA Champions League winners Liverpool had been due to take part in the first-ever game at Education City Stadium but this fixture will now also take place at Khalifa International Stadium.
Although construction work has been completed at Education City Stadium and the venue is operational, FIFA said that the necessary certification process had taken longer than expected. As a result, the venue has been unable to stage the required test events before hosting the semi-final and final of the Club World Cup at full capacity.
The 40,000-seat Education City Stadium will next year become the third tournament-ready venue to open ahead of the 2022 World Cup, after Khalifa International Stadium and Al Janoub Stadium. Education City Stadium is scheduled to host matches up to and including the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Fans who bought tickets for the Club World Cup matches at Education City Stadium will have them automatically issued to Khalifa International Stadium, with seats to be allocated within the same price category. The two stadia are located just 10km apart on the outskirts of Doha.
Khalifa International Stadium reopened in 2017 and earlier this year hosted the IAAF World Athletics Championships.
The Club World Cup gets underway on Wednesday, with the 12,000-seat Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium also scheduled to host matches.