Qatar starts building 2022 World Cup Stadium
13 April 2017
Work has begun on Lusail Stadium, the 80,000-seater venue which will host the Qatar 2022 World Cup. The stadium, which design has yet to be reveiled, should be completed by 2020.
Allowing cameras onto the site for the very first time, officials said they hope the stadium would be completed by 2020.
Lusail, which is some 20 kilometres north of the capital Doha, will also host the opening game of the 2022 tournament.
Ground is currently being cleared on the one million square metres site, but would soon begin to resemble the stadium which the whole world will see in five years' time, according to project manager Tamim Loutfi Elabed.
"Foundations will go in later this year," he said. "If you dropped by to visit us the same time next year, you would be happy."
Despite the early stages, the pitch's centre circle -- where the 187 billion euro tournament will kick off -- has already been identified and marked out with barriers.
Elabed said it was "symbolic" as well as "a surveying point".Up to 7,000 workers will eventually be employed on site.
Since being chosen as the 2022 host, Qatar has come under heavy criticism for the treatment of its migrant workforce, claims which it has largely denied.
As well as being built from scratch, Lusail Stadium is itself part of a completely new city taking shape in the desert outside Doha.
There was nothing on the site prior to it being selected as the venue for the World Cup final, though it is apparently close to one of Qatar's first recorded settlements.The stadium is being developed in a joint venture between a Qatari and Chinese company.
The design, likely to be revealed later this year, is being undertaken by renowned British architects, Foster and Partners.
As well as the stadium, construction work has also begun on a nearby metro station, part of an ongoing 16 billion euros light railway project, which fans will use during the tournament.
Although Fifa has not yet made a final decision on how many stadiums will be used during 2022, there will be at least eight venues.
Lusail Stadium could potentially be used in 2021 as a venue for the Club World Cup.Qatar is currently in talks with Fifa about hosting the tournament in four years' time, as a rehearsal event for the World Cup.