Football: Qatar reveals design for fifth World Cup stadium

Football: Qatar reveals design for fifth World Cup stadium
A scale model of the Al-Rayyan Stadium is seen during a news conference to announce the start of work on the Al Rayyan Stadium.

DOHA, Qatar - Officials in Qatar on Wednesday unveiled the design for the fifth stadium to host matches during the football World Cup in 2022.

The 40,000-seater Al Rayyan Stadium will host matches up until the quarter-final stage of the competition in seven years' time.

The stadium is expected to be completed three years before the tournament begins.

In a ceremony at the Ali bin Abdullah Fort on the western fringes of the capital Doha, Qatar's World Cup head, Hassan Al Thawadi, said revealing the design was the latest important benchmark in the country's preparations for football's biggest tournament.

"Unveiling the design of Al Rayyan stadium is another important step forward in our preparations to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup," he said.

"We will continue to work tirelessly as our vision for the tournament takes shape on the ground." Sheikh Saud bin Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, chairman of Al Rayyan Sports Club, said he hoped the stadium would help Qatar deliver the best World Cup there has ever been.

The stadium, which is "focused on Qatari tradition", is the latest to be rebuilt or revamped as the country prepares for 2022.

It will include cooling technology, to help with Qatar's fierce temperatures even in winter, and the capacity will be reduced to 21,000 after the tournament with the upper tier of seats being sent to developing nations.

Officials added that stadium construction would comply with workers' welfare standards.

A final decision will be taken later this year on how many stadiums Qatar will use for the tournament, which is uniquely taking place in the months of November and December, following a decision by FIFA.

As few as eight stadiums might be used for the first World Cup ever to be held in the Middle East.

Earlier this year, it was announced that renowned British architects Foster and Partners would design the stadium that will host the final of the tournament in 2022.

The 80,000 seater stadium will be built in the purpose-built city of Lusail, some 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of Doha.

Qatar is expected to receive fresh criticism over its controversial and successful World Cup bid over the next few days.

A new book, "The Ugly Game", detailing allegations of corruption against Qatar's bid is set for publication on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe meets, and is predicted to try and urge FIFA to run a re-vote on who should the host the tournament in 2022.

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