Lusail Stadium – 2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium

Like many other stadiums that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Lusail Stadium has been renovated especially for hosting the competition. The 2022 FIFA World Cup will be hosted by Qatar this year in its best cities, such as Doha, Lusail, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, and Al Wakrah. The beginning of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is in November 2022, finishing in December 2022 because of Qatar’s intense heat in the summer. This will be the second World Cup held in Asia, being also the 22nd FIFA World Cup competition in history. Also, the 2022 FIFA World Cup is the first event to happen in the Middle East, meaning that a lot of excitement is expected. The tournament is between thirty-two national teams qualified during sixty-four matches in eight Qatari stadiums.

Like many other stadiums that will host the FIFA World Cup 2022, the Lusail Stadium has been renovated especially for hosting the competition. Accordingly, the Lusail Stadium is amongst the biggest FIFA venues that exhibit the artistic use of symbols inspired by the Arabic world. The Lusail Stadium is located about 20km away from Doha’s city center, being in the city with the same name, respectively in Lusail. Also, it is remarkably close to the Al Khor Expressway on the western edge of Lusail City, with the south facing the Commercial Boulevard of Lusail City.

In terms of how to get there, the spectators can access the Lusail Stadium by using the Al Khor Expressway. Also, close to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there will be installed parks and ride facilities, or it can be accessed by using the Lusail Light Rail Tram.

When was the Lusail Stadium constructed?

According to many sources, the Lusail Stadium was built by a joint venture between HBK Contracting from Qatar and the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited from China. Initially, it was announced that only offers over $800 million were considered; however, the agreed amount was around $767 million. Both the HBK Contracting company and the China Railway Construction Corporation Limited from China moved to the site to start the construction in 2017, hoping to deliver the Lusail Stadium by 2020 in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. However, works for construction were ongoing since 2014.

Lusail Stadium
© Sorin Furcoi

In terms of the site office construction projects, these were completed by Galfar Al Misnad, including leveling and grading works and the site. Also, the access roads were completed by a local contractor, respectively the Marbu Contracting company.

The Lusail Stadium is extremely special for the FIFA World Cup 2022 because it becomes the opening and final venue for the tournament’s first World Cup in the Middle East, being also one of the largest stadiums to hold the FIFA World Cup since 2010 when Soccer City in Johannesburg hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals. In terms of capacity, the Lusail Stadium was announced to be around 86,000 seats; however, because of the contract signed by CRCC, the Lusail Stadium is believed to have an even larger capacity, one of 92,000 seats.

In terms of the design, which was the work for the Foster + Partners who won after the competition, being selected to work on the Lusail Stadium’s architecture. While some other stadiums, such as Stadium 974 have natural ventilation, this one has air-conditioning vents throughout the stadium. Also, there is a minimal traveling distance between its venues, providing excellent connectivity to neighboring countries, such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, or other European destinations.

The Lusail Stadium also features a material called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) that has the role of protecting the Lusail Stadium from warm winds, keeping dust outside, and allowing the natural light to grow, while also providing shade to reduce the key role of the air-conditioning. It was announced that, after the 2022 FIFA World Cup finishes, Lusail Stadium will also feature shops, a school, housing, health clinics, and other food outlets. While hosting the Football World Cup 2022, the Lusail Stadium will focus on promoting not only the population and culture of the region but also highlighting the technology and innovation that was necessary for building these Qatari stadiums in a climate-controlled environment.

In terms of design, the Lusail Stadium’s shape and facade are inspired by the motifs on bowls, vessels, and other art pieces found across the Arab and Islamic world. The construction site is said to conserve 40 percent more fresh water than conventional stadium developments. Also, it was reported that it is inspired by the interplay of light and shadow that characterizes the ‘fanart’ lantern.

According to the Design-Build Network website, the design of the Lusail Stadium was revealed during the Football conference held in London, in the United Kingdom in October 2020. The Lusail Stadium, as previously mentioned, was designed to reflect the heritage and culture of Qatar. The concave exterior of the stadium has been inspired by the sails of traditional dhow boats. It will be a world-class football stadium that will also serve as a regional and international sporting venue and host other cultural events, after the 2022 World Cup Finals.

As the Design-Build Network website reported, the Lusail Stadium became the heart and centerpiece of Lusail city, being in the Al-Daayen section of the primary axis of the city as per the main plan. The axis will divide the circular precinct of the stadium into two halves. A water pool will surround the entire stadium. Six bridges will form the entrances for visitors over the reflective moat.

In terms of the roof of the Lusail Stadium, it has the shape of a saddle that seems to float above the concrete seating bowl. Also, as the Design-Build Network website reported, the roof structure is supported by a ring of arching columns in a discrete manner, which can be always retracted at the center of the stadium. Because of its design, the operable roof allows it to either be completely exposed or to be completely covered.

© Sorin Furcoi

The east-west orientation of the stadium will ensure shading of the entire pitch. The seating bowl will be designed to provide a cool atmosphere and enhance the experience of the spectators. Solar power will be used to maintain ideal temperature conditions within the stadium. The temperature inside will be 270C at a time when the daytime temperature will be around 400C.

The VIP and hospitality accommodations will be located along the sides of the pitch. This will allow for the continuation of fan seats behind the goals and for the provision of optimum views. Regarding other facilities, it was reported that the Lusail Stadium include a series of small building of amenities, and even a hotel outside the stadium, specially built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. An outer pedestrian concourse extending from the water will lead the visitors to these facilities. The stadium will be well connected by direct roads and a new metro line with its own station.

Designed by Foster + Partners for the Qatar 2022 World Cup Bid Committee, the Lusail Stadium reflects the heritage and culture of Qatar. Being inspired by the sails of traditional dhow boats, the concave exterior of the stadium reflects the traditionalism of Qatar. Also, a water pool will surround the entire stadium. Six bridges will form the entrances for visitors over the reflective moat.

What matches did and will the Lusail Stadium host?

During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Lusail Stadium will host ten matches, including matches at the group stages, and the finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Beginning on 22 November 2022, the Lusail Stadium will host matches between Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Serbia, Mexico, Portugal, Uruguay, and Cameroon. All these national teams are in Groups C, G, and H.

Also, on 6th December, the Lusail Stadium will host the match between the Winners of Group H and the Runners-up of Group G, at 22:00, in the Round of sixteen. A few days later, on 9th December 2022, at the same hour, Lusail Stadium will host the match between the Winners of Match 49 and the Winners of Match 50 in the quarterfinals. On 13 December, the stadium will host the match between the Winners of Match 57 and the Winners of Match 58 at 22:00 in the semi-finals. The most exciting match, the final one of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, is being hosted by the Lusail Stadium on 18 December at 18:00 between the Winners of Match 61 and the Winners of Match 62. The date of 18 December 2022 is extremely special for both the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but also for Qatar because it is Qatar National Day.

DateTimeTeam No. 1Team No. 2Round
22 November 202213:00ArgentinaSaudi ArabiaGroup C
24 November 202222:00BrazilSerbiaGroup G
26 November 202222:00ArgentinaMexicoGroup C
28 November 202222:00PortugalUruguayGroup H
30 November 202222:00Saudi ArabiaMexicoGroup C
2 December 202222:00CameroonBrazilGroup G
6 December 202222:00Winners Group HRunners-u Group GRound of 16
9 December 202222:00Winners Match 49Winners Match 50Quarter-finals
13 December 202222:00Winners Match 57Winners Match 58Semi-finals
18 December 202218:00Winners Match 61Winners Match 62Finals

The other venues that will host matches for the 2022 FIFA World Cup are Stadium 974, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium (Al Rayyan), Al Bayt Stadium, Education City Stadium, and the Al Janoub Stadium.

What about the legacy and sustainability plans of the Lusail Stadium?

In terms of sustainability, it is reported that the current plan for the Lusail Stadium is the study of how the interior space can be renovated to house a mixture of civic facilities. After the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the venue will feature affordable housing units, shops, food outlets, health clinics, and even a school. The upper tier could be re-purposed into outdoor terraces for new homes and a community football pitch potentially be built within the premises. To make way for these new amenities, some tournament installations will have to be removed. Any materials removed will be preserved and, where possible, re-purposed and donated to communities that require sporting infrastructure.

Regarding the sustainability practice around the construction of the Lusail Stadium, it was reported that they were used and thought throughout the entire construction process. Firstly, recycled water was used to irrigate the plants that surround the stadium, while the leak detection and other water-efficient fixtures are operational. Also, the Lusail Stadium converse more than 40% fresh water than other conventional stadiums. All of it, including its roof, has been designed clearly with sustainability in mind.

Because of all these reasons, the Lusail Stadium received a 5-star rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System, holding four sustainability awards in total. It is energy-efficient, having the ability to withstand extreme hot and cold temperature conditions. The rest of its electricity will supply the buildings in the surrounding neighborhoods when the Lusail Stadium will not be operational. Also, there were used environmentally friendly cooling technology during the construction process.

Focusing more on the sustainable development of Lusail City Qatar and the preservation of land and energy, the construction is being carried out in such a manner that it will come out as a boon for the nation’s development. A lot many factors have been taken into consideration during the construction of Lusail Stadium. While the plan is already set, the current techniques are ensuring a minimal impact on nature when it comes to environmental degradation and pollution.

Most importantly, a great management effort was put into the conservation of energy resources. Also, Lusail Stadium progressed sustainability by recycling waste, water, and other natural resources to jotting the long-term use of every material. At the same time, construction is being examined closely to ensure no or low pollution emissions. Also, the Lusail Stadium is being recognized as a green space where every need will be catered at a short walking distance. As reported, it was ensured that public transportation will be used by the 2022 FIFA World Cup’s spectators to reduce carbon emissions. There are solar panels, water recycling circuits,s and other advanced technology to maintain a balance of utilization of resources.

According to Kelly written for BBC News Magazine, the organizers of Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup promised to find solutions for the intense heat in Qatar. As promised, they included advanced air-conditioning technology that would cool stadiums, training pitches, and fan zones to 23C. A 500-seater prototype stadium called the Qatar Showcase, designed by British firm Arup was built to demonstrate how the system might work.

To fix the heat problem, they used solar panels outside to collect the natural energy from the sun, also powering an absorption chiller to chill the water, which was kept at 6C. Using “phase change materials”, the chiller’s output was stored and was also used to cool the air before this was blown inside the Lusail Stadium, maintaining pitch temperatures below 27C. Perforated seats allowed the cooled air to flow.

During a speech, a professor of air conditioning and refrigeration at London South Bank University, Graeme Maidment, claimed that they were using in a sense heat to produce cold; however, he mentioned that this process and method are expensive. In terms of FIFA’s requirements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, he mentioned that the stadiums might be carbon neutral in terms of the energy used; however, it would be much more challenging to achieve carbon neutrality when producing all the equipment required for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, considering its scale.

Also Read: Football World Cup History

Carl James, who works at the Environmental Extremes Laboratory run by Brighton University’s Sports Science Department, claimed that the Qatari heat is something many players need to adapt to, even with or without air conditioning. Well-conditioned athletes are, in theory, capable of competing at high temperatures, he said, giving the example of The Marathon des Sables from the Sahara Desert, held in extreme temperature conditions. Also, another example given by him was the hottest golf tournament held in California’s Death Valley. Giving an example related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Carl James said that the 1934 FIFA World Cup between Italy and Czechoslovakia in Rome was played in temperatures that surpassed 40C.

Michel d’Hooghe, FIFA’s Medical Chief, said that he thinks that Qatar can organize the 2022 FIFA World Cup in stable, and acceptable temperature conditions; however, the issues are related to fans because they would have to travel from and to the Lusail Stadium, which is going to be difficult, considering Qatar’s extreme heat.

What other issues are related to the Lusail Stadium?

Like many other Qatari stadiums, the Lusail Stadium has received criticism regarding the working conditions of migrant workers. According to the tournament organizers, “Compliance with … all relevant Qatari laws will be a prerequisite to the selection and retention by the SC of its contractors and sub-contractors”, mentioning that issues will, or have already been solved.

According to the Amnesty International report from 2021, Qatar passed two new laws which “aimed to end restrictions on migrant workers leaving the country or changing jobs without their employer’s permission”. However, Amnesty International claimed that these laws were not exactly applied in the proper manner, while the employees in those situations were still bound to their employers. For instance, as the Sport Resolutions website reported, there was one migrant worker who said that she wanted to change jobs; however, she was told that she would have to pay 6,000 Qatari riyals (£1,200) for a no-objection certificate, or, if not, she would have been sent home. Considering that the sum they were asking for was more than five times her monthly salary, the allegations angered many fans.

On this issue, Mark Dummett, the Global Issues Programme Director, said that the previous example is one that happened to thousands of workers, who were at continued risk of exploitation by unscrupulous employers, many of them trying to change jobs and facing wage theft. However, the Global Issues Programme Director highlighted the uncertainty regarding the situations of these migrant workers which could become even worse after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

However, on 15 March 2022, FIFA President met with Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al Marri, the Qatari Minister of Labor, and discussed the labor reforms that were being conducted in Qatar. Following this discussion, Infantino addressed in an interview the issues, mentioning the positivity of the situation, regarding how the Qatari authorities ensured that the reforms were fully implemented across the labor market. This meant that they were leaving, through this action, a long-lasting legacy of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after this event, while the migrant workers in Qatar will benefit in long term.

Sharan Burrow, the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, said after the situation to AFP that they said in 2015 that a World Cup without workers’ rights is not possible. However, the issues were resolved, and the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation advised fans to see the World Cup because the rights of the migrant workers were respected. He rejected the idea of 6,000 migrant workers being dead over the past decade in Qatar due to working conditions, calling it a “myth”. However, according to the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow, Qatar “still has to make progress on implementing the new laws” regarding the right of migrant workers.

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