Qatar 2022, an atypical World Cup
The XXII edition of the World Cup is called to be special, as it will take place between November 21 and December 18 for the first time in history, a change forced by the temperatures that can reach 50 º C in the months of June and July in Qatar.
Thus, the Christmas gift will arrive early and will show the world how technology will allow fans and athletes, through innovative and sustainable solutions, to live a World Cup as never seen before.
Within this innovation are mainly the eight stadiums built mostly from scratch, mega infrastructure works that will transmit the culture of a country that floats in the waters of the Persian Gulf.
Doha's Khalifa International Stadium became the first air-conditioned stadium and the first to be ready for the event, first opened in 1976 for the Gulf Cup, but redesigned and reopened on 17 May.
"The completion of our first FIFA World Cup stadium is an important milestone for Qatar and reflects our commitment to deliver all proposed venues well in advance of the tournament," said Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Organising Committee.
Since then, Khalifa has become an icon of the city of Doha, which already hosted the recent IAAF World Athletics Championships in September and October 2019.
THE OTHER STADIUMS
In Qatar 2022, the world will see Ras Abu Aboud, the world's first and only stadium capable of being dismantled for transport and used for other sporting events. Worthy of a layman's game.
This stadium will be built with transport containers, removable seats and building blocks that will be an example of environmental sustainability and reduced production costs.
The third, Al Thumama, will be located in front of the waters of the gulf and will represent on its façade the ghafiya, clothing used by men throughout the Arab world. This stadium will donate after the World Cup, 20 thousand of its seats to countries with deficiencies in their sports infrastructure.
The Education City Stadium, built around universities and innovation centers, will be home to the third-place match and the final. With the possibility of accessing the stadium by subway or subway, it will be inaugurated this December 18 with the 2019 Club World Cup.
Al Bayt Stadium, with a capacity for 60,000 people in the city of Al Khor, will host the semi-finals and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. It has a typical tent design used by the nomadic peoples of Qatar and in addition to being portable, the upper-level seats will also be donated.
With the same name as the city, Al Rayyan Stadium will be the new home of the Al Rayyan Sports Club. This stadium will be a work of sustainability and responsibility for the environment, as it is being built with sustainable materials and its façade will represent the dunes of the Qatari desert.
The opening match will take place in the Lusail Stadium. One of the largest in the world, will be a community center at the end of the tournament and its construction is progressing in giant steps within a pioneering city in the planning of transportation system and green spaces.
Finally, Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah was inaugurated on 16 May in the final of the 2019 Emir's Cup and will be an example of infrastructure, as its area will consist of restaurants, schools, markets, gyms, cycle paths, and even a wedding hall.
The Al Janoub grass broke the world record when it was installed in a time of nine hours and fifteen minutes.
A special World Cup deserves special planning, which is why all stadiums are expected to be ready by December 2020, along with 64 training grounds for the teams, which have progress of more than 80%.
Qatar 2022 will transform Doha and its surroundings to offer fans an unforgettable experience, so 79 kilometers of public transportation lines will be created, with trains connected to some stadiums and more than 30 new stops added to the metro system and railroad.
The budget managed for the development of the World Cup is six billion dollars, according to Hassan Al Thawadi, during the last St. Petersburg Economic Forum for the agency Sputnik.
The organization of the World Cup will mean for Qatar a tourist, structural and urban growth, because the transport systems, stadiums and training camps will be available for the next generations.
"Our main objective goes beyond the championship. We are working for the development of the country and investments in this field," he said.
Qatar 2022 will show how football can be sustainable and give a boost to a country that is growing, because the numbers explain it.
If in 2018 Qatar's gross domestic product grew by 1.5% compared to 2017, it can be assumed that this country will have a significant rise for GDP in 2023, taking into account the data obtained in the World Cup in Russia 2018, where the country had an economic impact of $15 billion dollars, about 1% of GDP.
In Russia, 220 thousand jobs were created and meant an increase of almost 7 billion dollars, but beyond the money, at a cultural level, Qatar 2022 will be a Football World Cup that will educate the world in sustainability, development, and technology, surely like no other.
The most benefited will not only be the Qatari, but also the football leagues, players and entities that will be the protagonists of the biggest football party for the first time in an Arab country.
To attend the event, the leagues and clubs, which feed the teams with 75% of the players, will be challenged to adapt to a schedule that will be modified but will bring multiple benefits with the FIFA Club Aid Scheme.
As an example of this plan, after Russia 2018, 209 million dollars were paid to 416 football clubs in 63 federations, a remarkable increase of almost 200% compared to Brazil 2014.
The calendar has not yet been published, but with the World Cup starting and ending dates, the leagues will be able to plan alternatives to match the Qatari tournament.
The championship will last about a month and with the rest time of the called is likely to be no local tournament until early January, but with the eighth round of the Champions League until February and nurtured squads, the solutions will come as a sandstorm.
Qatar is a country with more than 2.7 million people of which only 20% are Qatari, something that allows the Arab country to be a stage for sharing cultures and traditions around football.
That being the case, getting one of the tickets to the matches is the main challenge for the millions of fans who will want to go to the World Cup.
In many cases, it is based on the luck of being one of the lucky ones whose applications were accepted by the organizing committee, in others the knowledge and experience to know the best time and way to make the application.
For the millions of requests, in certain periods of time FIFA opens ticket application processes through its website. The first so-called 'VISA Early Selling Phase' took place between 22 and 31 October 2019 for customers of VISA cards, the official sponsor of the World Cup.
The second, called 'Sale by Order of Application', began on 14 November and will end on 21 December, a process in which everyone can participate with any card as a means of payment.
From then on, the suspense and the expectation of being one of the winners of the draw of applicants begins. Subsequently, those who are accepted will receive their tickets electronically and these must be printed before going to the stadiums.
According to FIFA, the tickets are divided into categories and phases of the World Cup, which establishes the price of the tickets. In Russia 2018, a Category 1 match in the Round of 16 costs around $240, while the final cost $1,100.
If the budget doesn't fit, fans can consider volunteering. By Qatar 2022, some 265,000 people have signed up for the program, of which 12,000 signed up in just four hours.
With tickets waiting to be accepted, fans can plan and save for travel, lodging, food, and transportation.
For this, many travel agencies make tourist packages that include plane tickets, hotels, tours, and transportation to the stadiums, however, do not have the power to offer in their packages tickets to the games.
On the other hand, the decision to travel can be separated from a travel agency, and if the fan wants to do it on his own the trip can reach the thousand 100 dollars, including both trips and with the purchase of a year in advance.
The challenge for lodging will be to find the perfect rate adapted to the comforts and needs, given that the prices of hotels on booking platforms could double or triple their normal price.
Within the stadiums and communications plan, Qatar 2022 has been innovative and visionary in offering a unique experience to the fan, since none of the venues is more than 35 kilometers from the center of Doha and the longest distance between the stadiums will be 55 kilometers.
The most atypical World Cup will not only be marked by a strange date, but also by the customs that coexist within the country, some of them embodied in the official logo of the competition.
According to FIFA, the image represents "striking elements of regional and local Arab culture" and its eight-shape figure represents the eight stadiums that will host the matches, while at the same time emulating the desert dunes, the symbol of infinity and the silhouette of the coveted golden trophy.
For its culture, ancient music, renowned cuisine, and traditions, Qatar has been chosen to host the next World Cup, with the aim of sharing a little more of the Arab world in a country that has the third-largest natural gas reserve in the world and is number one in per capita GDP.
Its stadiums will be the most attractive, with imposing infrastructures such as the towers that invade the city, constantly hit by sandstorms coming from dunes crossed by camels.
Three years to go before Qatar 2022, an event that will prove that football can be innovative, sustainable, visionary and futuristic, capable of surprising in regulation or extra time, on the pitch or on the sand.