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Lusail Stadium gains five-star sustainability rating

Lusail Stadium, the centrepiece for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar, has achieved a five-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), which is administered by the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD).

Lusail Stadium is the latest Qatar 2022 venue to achieve the rating, joining Al Thumama Stadium and Education City Stadium.

All World Cup stadiums have achieved a minimum four-star rating under GSAS, which was adopted as a sustainability rating system by FIFA and is designed to ensure all tournament-related infrastructure meets stringent environmental standards.

Lusail Stadium, which has a capacity of 80,000, will host the World Cup final on December 18. The tournament’s organising committee said its sustainability features include a “state-of-the-art” roof and water efficiency systems.

The stadium’s roof is made from PTFE, which protects the venue from warm wind, keeps dust out and allows in enough light for the pitch to grow while providing shade, reducing the stadium’s reliance on air conditioning.

Following the World Cup, Lusail Stadium will host civic facilities for the local community. Organisers have said that any seats removed from the venue will be offered to countries that lack sporting infrastructure.

Ghanim Al Kuwari, deputy director general of technical services at Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “This recognition from GORD is an important part of our FIFA World Cup journey.

“Sustainability has been central to our plans from the start as we are determined to develop venues that boost local communities here in Qatar long after the tournament. We are very proud to receive these awards and pay tribute to everyone involved in the construction of Lusail Stadium – an incredible venue that will host the biggest international football match on the planet – the FIFA World Cup final – later this year.”

Yousef Alhorr, founding chairman of GORD, added: “By meeting the exacting GSAS standards, Lusail Stadium has set a new precedent in environmental excellence, guided by the SC’s sustainability strategy.

“We congratulate the SC for advancing climate action by successfully translating green building principles into impactful practices. This is testament to the strong commitment to sustainability – which has been apparent from before ground was broken at Lusail and other venues.”

In May, Carbon Market Watch, a non-profit association with expertise in carbon pricing, released a report which questioned claims made by organisers of the Qatar World Cup that the tournament will be the first carbon-neutral event of its kind.

Research from Carbon Market Watch suggested that Qatar 2022’s goal will be achieved through “creative accounting” rather than actually reaching a carbon footprint of net zero. The report states that calculations used by World Cup organisers ignore some “major sources of emissions” and that the credits currently being purchased to offset them have a “low level of environmental integrity”.

Including the final, Lusail Stadium will host 10 matches during the World Cup. Its first game will be Argentina vs Saudi Arabia on November 22.

Lusail Stadium last week became the eighth and final World Cup stadium to host its first match as Al Arabi defeated Al Rayyan in a Qatar Stars League fixture.

Al Arabi’s game against Al Rayyan in week two of the season represented the first official test event for Lusail Stadium, with 20,000 fans admitted to the venue. A full-capacity test event was announced for the stadium earlier this month.

Lusail Stadium will host a special event on September 9 which organisers say will represent the “final milestone” in preparations for the World Cup. The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) announced that the stadium will stage the ‘Lusail Super Cup’ between the Saudi Pro League champions and Egyptian Premier League winners, followed by a concert from a “famous singer”.

Image: Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy