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Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup will be epic with £140 billion like no other tournament has come before

IMAGINE a World Cup taking place some distance between Selhurst Park and Kenilworth Road.

That is exactly what will happen when the 2022 World Cup kicks off in Qatar on November 21 next year.

SunSport's Martin Lipton poses inside the 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium in Qatar

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SunSport’s Martin Lipton poses inside the 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium in QatarCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
The beautiful pitch will host the World Cup final on December 18

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The beautiful pitch will host the World Cup final on December 18Credit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

All eight stadiums are within 41 miles of the distance between Crystal Palace and Luton’s football field.

An hour along the four-lane highway from Al Bayt’s Bedouin Tent design in the north to the 40,000-capacity Al Janoub in the south.

Seven of the eight properties can be reached in 50 minutes or so using Doha’s new £26 billion Metro system.

All in a city that has grown from nothing to a metropolis in less than two decades, funded by the world’s third-largest natural gas field and secured a mini World Cup The most compact ever.

Many England fans, who are contemplating a journey to the Gulf to cheer on manager Gareth Southgate’s players, will have deep skepticism as to why the sporting event is the most anticipated. The world takes place in a country half the size of Wales.

That will never go away. There will also be no question of what has happened since the vote of 22 Fifa executive board members in December 2010.

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After all, Sepp Blatter even disgruntledly admitted the vote had begun the downfall of his Fifa empire.

But the simple truth is that the World Cup WILL take place in Qatar. And it won’t be like any World Cup before.

The money spent on stadiums and infrastructure is staggering, with an estimated £140 billion.

Ask the Qataris and they don’t want to give a number.

But don’t dismiss the numbers given. However, that money helped build seven brand new football monuments on the sands around the capital Doha.

All but one of them will exist after Fifa’s show is complete and begins en route to the US, Mexico and Canada in 2026.

The focal point and sparkle of all is Lusail Stadium, which will host ten matches including the final on December 18.

An 80,000-seat venue, rising out of the desert, with a design based on intricate traditional lanterns or cooking bowls.

Qatar spent around £140 billion on their stadiums and infrastructure for the global tournament

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Qatar spent around £140 billion on their stadiums and infrastructure for the global tournamentCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun
Seven of the eight stadiums at next year's World Cup will boast air-conditioning under all seats

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Seven of the eight stadiums at next year’s World Cup will boast air-conditioning under all seatsCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

It will also be a place for cultures from around the world to mix, although fans may need to get used to the rhythm of the Za’im drum – or “leader” -, which can become the sound of Finals in 2022, just like the vuvuzela in South Africa in 2010.

Qatar doesn’t have a rich footballing history, even if they have a history of making football rich people happy.

But the national team is the defending Asian champion, having beaten Japan in the 2019 final.

That victory saw cars covered in the maroon and white of the national flag, whistles blowing a concert of joy, running through the streets of Doha.

And last month’s Amir Cup final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, featuring a host of faces familiar to Prem fans like Santi Cazorla and James Rodriguez, was a window into the World Cup atmosphere. .

Traditional white robes abound there but even though no one has touched a drop of wine, there’s no shortage of tribal atmosphere as rival fans taunt each other and cheer for their heroes. .

Those songs, staged banners, drumming – and the excitement of the roughly 2,000 Ghanaian migrant workers who came to support former West Ham striker Andre Ayew – provided a sense of flavor. taste of next winter’s global show.

Al Bidda Park, which will serve as a park for Fifa fans, overlooks the Qatari capital Doha

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Al Bidda Park, which will serve as a park for Fifa fans, overlooks the Qatari capital DohaCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

WORLD CUP HIGHLIGHTS

There will be some stunning stadiums participating in the Qatar World Cup. Learn about three of the facilities below.

LUSAIL STADIUM

CAPACITY: 80,000 POSITIONS: 14 miles north of central Doha.

INFORMATION: An astounding 30,000 tons of structural steel – the equivalent of four Eiffel towers – was brought into the stadium that hosted the final. The potential England dressing room stretches 60 meters.

The ground floor, based on the design of traditional lanterns and bowls, has 27,000 air-conditioned blowers.

AL BAY

CAPACITY: 60,000 LOCATIONS: 25 miles north of Doha.

INFORMATION: In the barren lands of the Al Khor region, a well-suited opening match venue has been built to resemble a giant Bedouin tent, with a retractable roof that unfolds in 20 minutes.

It will come complete with soaring – and working – fire pits outside both main stands.

RAS ABU ABOUD

CAPACITY: 40,000 LOCATIONS: Across the bay from Doha’s famous Corniche waterfront.

INFORMATION: The first demountable stadium, built from steel and shipping containers – will be used to put it away within three months.

This is the only ground that is not air-conditioned. Stadium owner Mahmoud Rashad said: “What we’ve done here is a miracle.”

Former Dutch player Ronald De Boer, who ended his career in Qatar, said: “When the national team plays, you see frenzy over the whole country and the pitch is always full of football. every match.

“Here the World Cup will be the country. It will be everywhere you go, around you, all the time, like the Olympic Games just for football. Everyone will get that.”

They will also have the ambition and scale of the World Cup project, as they are crammed between the skyscrapers that have risen to, until recently, a small country whose economy is based on fishing and pearl diving. male.

Tamim El Abed, a Liverpool fan from a Palestinian family, is the project manager of the Lusail building, like a proud father talking about his new baby as he explains the details. of the famous stadium, based on a design by Norman Foster.

He told SunSport: “Here it is just six meters from the front row of seats to the touch line. We’ve built stadiums to keep fans on the ground as close as possible.

“All stadiums will be air-conditioned with underfloor diffusers for lower level seating. At the high level and upstairs, we have large nozzles for high velocity cold air ejection.

“The other thing is that every surface, in the stadium and in the training ground, will be exactly the same.

“It took us seven years of research and development to find the right mix of winter and summer seeds to ensure the perfect surface for the climate.

The changing room at Lusail Stadium stretches for an incredible 60 yards

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The changing room at Lusail Stadium stretches for an incredible 60 yardsCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

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“I grew up in Qatar and the country has achieved some great achievements but we needed to show that a small place can have such big ambitions, so that we can show ourselves to the world. .

“This will give the rest of the world an opportunity to know and understand our country.

“We believe we have been misunderstood but football has the power to change that.”

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https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/4066453/qatar-2022-world-cup-140billion-spectacular/ | Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup will be epic with £140 billion like no other tournament has come before

Huynh Nguyen

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