Lusail Stadium project manager Tamim El Abed has revealed that the stadium is 100% ready to host FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 finals after obtaining all the approvals confirming the completion of its facilities.
In a statement to the Qatar News Agency (QNA), he said that the stadium had obtained the approvals, from the Civil Defence Department in December and the Security Systems Department in July, as well as a building completion certificate.
El Abed said however that the logistical work in the stadium vicinity – including fans services, first aid services, and tickets – remains a work in progress and will be completed two months before the tournament.
"We are all well aware that Lusail Stadium will host the final match and that the final of the World Cup is unlike any other match, with all eyes of the world will be focused on Lusail on that day,” he said. “What distinguishes the stadium from other stadiums that hosted World Cup matches is that its entire construction was carried out from the scratch by FIFA standards.”
“It is very rare for a stadium to be built from scratch to host World Cup matches,” El Abed said, “as we (have) witnessed in the previous versions of World Cup, (the) hosting stadiums were more than 100 years old."
On the stadium's ongoing preparations to host the Super Cup match on September 9 between the champions of the Egyptian and Saudi leagues, he said that it is undoubtedly important for the stadium to host this kind of match, with the expected attendance of around 80,000 fans.
Last week, the stadium hosted the QNB Stars League derby match between Al Arabi SC and Al-Rayyan SC, an event that Al Abed said was successful by any standard.
“Currently, we are working on testing the building and verifying all systems, especially (considering) that the stadium is equipped with complex cooling and television broadcasting systems that require several experiments and continuous maintenance,” he said.
The Lusail Stadium project manager said that all aspects for the hosting of the World Cup finals have been taken into account in the stadium's preparations.
El Abed elaborated that preparations for any finals match start from public streets, the key element of which is transport, both public and private.
Other aspects include providing mega parking spaces close to the stadium, the ease of movement and the roads leading to venue, and the mechanism for crowds to flow to it via the metro through the Lusail station (which is only 600m from the stadium’s security gates).
In the statement to the QNA, the Lusail Stadium project manager said that numerous lessons were learnt from the experience of the seven stadiums built to host the World Cup, given that they were completed before Lusail Stadium, in terms of crowd management, in the operation of technical services, cooling and lighting, and requirements for television broadcasting, local media and international news agencies, and security.
The tournaments organised by Qatar recently were important experiences for both the supervising authorities and the volunteers and those responsible for the entrances in how to deal with the crowds.
The design of Lusail Stadium interprets Qatar’s past and its future vision, mixing ancient and modern Islamic architecture.
The design is inspired by the interplay of light and shadow that characterises the Fanar lantern.
Its shape and facade echo the intricate decorative motifs on bowls, vessels and other art pieces found across the Arab and Islamic world during the rise of civilisation in the region.
El Abed stressed that aspects of legacy and sustainability were taken into account in the project, from the first draft to the construction process.
He added that countries that host major world championships tended to face the problem of how to best utilise sports facilities once the event is over.
In the case of Lusail Stadium, the project manager said that plans are in place to re-engineer of some of the interior spaces for use in activities that serve the community.
Once the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is over, Lusail Stadium will be transformed into a community space including schools, shops, cafés, sporting facilities and health clinics.
This multi-purpose community hub will allow people to find everything they need under one roof.
In addition, El Abed added that Qatar will be hosting various sporting events in the future, and pointed out that the nation would be organising the 2030 Asian Games.
Qatar is preparing to welcome football fans in the first edition of the World Cup to be held in the Arab world and the Middle East, to give fans from all over the world an opportunity to learn about Qatar, the region, and authentic Arab culture.
This tournament will mark a turning point in the history of Qatar and the region, as it will leave a legacy that will set new standards in organising mega sports events in the future.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kicks off on November 20 with the opening match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium.
The tournament will witness 64 matches over 29 days, and with the competition coming to an end on December 18 at the 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium. – QNA