The organising committee for Qatar’s FIFA World Cup has officially inaugurated Education City Stadium, the third venue completed for the 2022 edition of the national team football tournament.

The 40,000-seat stadium opened yesterday (Monday) and was marked by special programmes on the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s social media platforms. The completion of the stadium was dedicated to frontline workers who have been working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stadium is the first World Cup venue to achieve a five-star sustainability rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System. It joins the redeveloped Khalifa International Stadium and the new Al Janoub Stadium as completed World Cup venues.

Hassan Al Thawadi, secretary general of the Supreme Committee, said: “The completion of Education City Stadium is yet another milestone as we inch ever closer to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world.

“Launching the stadium now – while the world is overcoming the coronavirus pandemic – shows everyone that there is light at the end of the tunnel and brighter days ahead. We are proud to pay tribute to the frontline workers who remain at the forefront in the battle against COVID-19 and look forward to bringing the world together – at this stadium and others – using the unifying power of football in 2022.”

Education City Stadium is located in the heart of Education City, Qatar’s education, research and innovation hub. The stadium is due to host matches up to the quarter-final stage of the World Cup.

Yasir Al Jamal, chairman of the Supreme Committee’s operations office and vice-chairman of its technical delivery office, said that its five other stadium projects “remain on track”, with the 40,000-seat Al Rayyan Stadium and the 60,000-capacity Al Bayt Stadium scheduled to open before the end of the year.

After the World Cup, the capacity of Education City Stadium will be reduced to 20,000, with half of its seats to be recycled and used to create venues in developing countries. The stadium will become a sports, leisure and social hub for students and local communities post-World Cup.

The official opening of Education City Stadium was pushed back until 2020 back in December. As a result, Khalifa International Stadium hosted three additional matches during the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup. Education City Stadium had been due to stage the final, third-place play-off match and one semi-final.

Image: Qatar 2022