Eight pharaonic stadiums for Qatar 2022 World Cup
With just under a year to go until the start of the World Cup in Qatar, the opening match will be played on 21 November 2022 at the Al Bayt stadium, the venues where the ball will roll are already set, and the fixtures have been allocated on the calendar. A cast makes Lusail the stadium that every footballer will want to step into when the final takes place on 18 December. The works have been truly pharaonic, and seven of the eight stadiums will have a cooling system that will bring the temperature to 22 degrees Celsius, regardless of what happens outside. Although November and December are the coolest months in Qatar, the temperature can exceed 30 degrees Celsius.
What about human rights?
The organizing committee is trying hard to sell the tournament's image by stressing that it is already 70 percent complete but not sustainable. This is why they have made a symbol of the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, which will be completely dismantled after the tournament and parts used to create sports facilities in Qatar and abroad. However, the impressive works carried out in Qatar to host the championship are under the scrutiny of the international community, which has denounced human rights violations on several occasions. For example, the Guardian reported that around 6,500 workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka have died in Qatar since the country was awarded the World Cup more than ten years ago.
The president of the Federation of Human Rights Museums, Guillermo Whpei, denounces the human rights violations in Qatar, where thousands of migrants from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Kenya travel to work on constructions linked to the World Cup to be held next year: roads, railways, stadiums, hotels and convention centers, among others. Qatar has about two million migrant workers, and they make up 95 percent of the workforce. Nearly 40% work in the construction sector, which has seen an upturn in the wake of the infrastructure planned to host the world's biggest sporting event in two years. According to the report, the workers are forced to work 16 to 18 hours a day, seven days a week, working outdoors in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius. "As if this were not enough, the housing they are provided with is cramped and overcrowded, without the minimum hygienic conditions," says Whpei. Moreover, working in high temperatures demands an extra effort from the cardiovascular system; this added to heat stress produces fatal heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems that cause the death of these workers.
However, neither this type of denunciations nor the rules that attack fundamental rights such as sexual freedom have stopped an event that already has its impressive stadiums ready. These are the eight fields in which the World Cup will be played:
- LUSAIL STADIUM
Lusail Stadium is the first on this list and the most important stadium in the country to host the tournament's final on 18 December 2022. In addition to that, there will be six group matches, one round of 16, one quarterfinal, and one semifinal. The stadium has a capacity of 86,250 spectators and is one of the most impressive in the world. Created especially for the World Cup, the surrounding areas are also being remodeled to cater to the crowds that will flock to the city, located 15 km from the capital's center. Inside the stadium, there will be boxes and a hotel for spectators. Solar panels will cover the entire roof so the stadium will have electricity for the stadium itself and the surrounding areas. The central part will be able to open and close when weather conditions permit.
- AL BAYT STADIUM
The Al Bayt Stadium, located in the city of Jor, is the second on the list not only because it is one of the largest stadiums in the country but also because it is the venue for the opening ceremony and the first match of the World Cup. Opened in February last year, it has a capacity of 60,000 spectators. As for the partners, they will host nine games: six group matches, one in the round of 16, one in the quarterfinals, and one in the semifinals. In addition, the venue has a design that was inspired by an Arabian tent.
- AL YANUB STADIUM
The Al Yanub Stadium is located in Al Wakrah and was inaugurated in 2019, being one of the few in the country with a retractable roof and a cooling system that can cool the areas where the spectators are located down to 18 degrees. It will be used for six group stage matches and one round of 16 matches. Its capacity is 40,000 spectators.
- AHMAD BIN ALI STADIUM
The Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium is one of the few stadiums built specifically for the World Cup but was remodeled in 2020 to be up to the same standard. It has a capacity of 44,000 spectators, is located in Rayan, and will host seven matches: six group matches and one round of 16.
- STADIUM AT ZUMAMA
The Al Zumama Stadium, where six group matches, one round of 16, and one quarterfinals will be played, is located 12 kilometers from Doha, the capital of Qatar. It is an arena with a capacity of 40,000 spectators and a striking structure that resembles the traditional "gahfiya" (a traditional Qatari cap). It was inaugurated in October of this year.
- EDUCATION CITY STADIUM
One of the most striking stadiums during its construction was Education City, mainly because of its link with the Qatar Foundation, which was the main sponsor of FC Barcelona for many years. It was inaugurated in June 2020, has a capacity for 43,350 spectators, and will host eight matches: six in the group stage, one in the round of 16, and one in the quarterfinals.
- KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL STADIUM
The Khalifa International Stadium is located in Doha and is second on the list before the World Cup. It has already been used for the 2006 Asian Games, the Asian Cup in 2011, and the 2019 World Athletics Championships, among other events. It has a capacity of 50,000 people and will host six group matches, one round of 16, and the third-place play-off.
- RAS ABU ABUD STADIUM
The other stadium located in the capital is Ras Abu Abud, an arena with a capacity for 40,000 fans that, in theory, will be "completely dismountable." Its architect said the design pays homage to Qatar's maritime tradition, which is why it is also known as the "Harbour Stadium." It will host a total of six group matches and one round of 16.