Left speechless by stadium: Infantino
During a visit to Qatar, FIFA president Infantino heaped praise on Al-Bayt World Cup Stadium after a visit to the venue in Al-Khor.
“I am speechless after visiting the Al Bayt stadium,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said, adding “I am impressed by Qatar’s preparations for hosting the 2022 World Cup have progressed despite the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Al Bayt Stadium built at Al-Khor city which is nearly 45 kilometers north of Doha reflects the inside of a traditional Arab tent-Bedouin tent, coloured red, white and black. These tents, the bayt al sha’ar, is also where the stadium gets its name from. The roof is retractable, opening and closing in 20 minutes.
During the World Cup, the stadium is expected to host one of the semi-finals despite other league games.
Al-Bayt Stadium built on south-eastern edge of Al Khor city on the Persian Gulf which is roughly 4 kilometers from downtown. The stadium forms part of news development including a mall, park and hospital.
The ground will have a capacity for 60,000 spectators and will host the opening match of Qatar 2022 with the design of the stadium inspired by the traditional marquee-tent that reflects the Qatari culture.
“Al Bayt Stadium is incredible: a true football stadium. It has a real football feel and a local touch. The tented shape makes it truly unique, and the Arabic patterns in the roof are just beautiful,” FIFA chief Infantino said.”
Eight stadiums will be used in all, of which three are so far fully operational.
Infantino said, “I am very pleased with Qatar’s progress ahead of the tournament.”
Infantino played in a kick about against the organizers of Qatar 20220 at the Al-Bayt Stadium on the outskirts of the city of Al-Khor with the venue expected to be officially inaugurated within the next few months.
“Already in 2020 one can see that everything will be close at hand where fans of all nationalities will have the opportunity to use a great public transport service, as well as enjoy the moderate temperature of Qatar at that time of year, it will be a momentous event,” he added.
Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, Qatar’s preparations have carried on with strict hygiene measures in place, to keep all workers safe.
Three of the eight announced World Cup Stadiums inaugurated are: Al-Janoub, Al-Khalifa International, Education City as well as three others that are in the final phase of preparation: Al-Bayt, Al-Rayyan, and Al-Thumama.
(With inputs of various sources)