World Cup 2022: stadiums, migrant labor, sustainability


It is exactly two years before the World Cup in Qatar. Writing this in November seems as strange as writing about the Biathlon World Cup in July, but it’s time to come to terms with the idea that the first autumn-winter world championship is really waiting for us – time is still going mercilessly fast.

How is it in Qatar two years before the World Cup? Everything is ready? What problems? Can a tournament be transferred to another country?

Now we’ll tell you everything.

Qatar won the right to host the 2010 World Cup, beating bids from the United States, South Korea, Japan and Australia in the final vote.
Dates – November 21 – December 18.
32 participants.
8 stadiums in 5 cities: Lusail, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Bayt, Al Rayyan, Al Janub, Al Tumama, Ras Abu Abud, Education City.
4 matches a day. The longest distance between objects is 75 km.

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3 out of 8 stadiums are ready – they have hosted more than 100 matches this year. Three more are in the final stages of construction, the rest will be commissioned in 2021

Lusail. The largest stadium for the World Cup 2022

Capacity: 80,000
Start of construction: 2017
End of construction: 2021
City: Lusail (it has been built from scratch since 2006 as part of the Qatar-2030 program)
Distance from Doha: 15 km

It will host group stage matches, playoffs and finals, and after the World Cup, the interior is planned to be rebuilt to accommodate various civilian facilities. Lusail will have a school, living quarters with terraces (for this purpose, the upper tier will be completely redesigned), cafes and restaurants, medical clinics and a public football field. Everything that is disassembled in the process will not go to a landfill, but, if possible, will be used during restructuring or will be transferred to those in need of sports infrastructure. The sustainable development model was laid down during construction: recycled water is used to irrigate the field, which allows you to save up to 40% of fresh water compared to other stadiums.

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The arena is being built from scratch together with the whole city.

Construction progress

Construction progress

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

How it will look

How it will look

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

International stadium “Khalifa”. The oldest stadium in Qatar

Capacity: 68,000
End of construction: 2017 (reconstruction)
City: Doha

The stadium was built back in 1976, and during this time it has seen many tournaments: the Gulf Cup of Nations football – 2004 and 2019, the summer Asian Games – 2006, the Asian Cup in football – 2011, the Pan Arab Games – 2011, the world championship in athletics – 2019 and the FIFA Club World Cup. For the 2022 World Cup, the stadium was reconstructed, adding an air conditioning system, 12,000 seats and lighting on the facade. The Khalifa will host the group stage matches, playoffs and the game for third place.

Al Bayt. Opening match stadium

Capacity: 60,000 (after – 32,000)
Start of construction: 2014
End of construction: 2020 (in the final stages)
City: El Khora

After the World Cup, the stadium will be occupied by the local Al Khor team, and a five-star hotel will appear in place of the sky-box. The stadium’s functionality will also include a shopping center, a food court, a gym and a branch of a sports medicine center.

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

“Ras Abu Abud”. The stadium that will disappear after the World Cup

Capacity: 40,000
Start of construction: 2018
End of construction: 2021
City: Doha

The stadium will host matches of the group stage, and after the end of the tournament it will be completely dismantled – this will happen for the first time in the history of the World Cup. Ras Abu Abud is being built using shipping containers and modular steel elements, most of which are recyclable, so any material left over from dismantling the arena will go to other sports facilities in Qatar and abroad.

Construction progress

Construction progress

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

How it will look

How it will look

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

Education City. A stadium that will be used by students and teachers

Capacity: 40,000 (after – 20,000)
Start of construction: 2016
End of construction: june 2020
City: Doha

The arena will host group stage matches and playoffs up to 1/4. After the tournament, the upper tier of the stadium will be dismantled, and the seats will be given to countries in need of sports infrastructure. Education City is planned to be used as a point of attraction for the local community, including students and teachers, and its territory will be equipped with shopping areas, a conference center, health centers and two schools.

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

Al Tumama. Quarterfinals stadium

Capacity: 40,000 (after – 20,000)
Start of construction: 2017
End of construction: 2021
City: Doha

The stadium will only host the quarterfinals, and then a similar fate awaits that of Education City: the number of seats will be cut in half, chairs and other materials will be given to those in need, and the territory will be turned into a community center with facilities for practicing various sports, including handball , volleyball, basketball and even swimming. It is planned to open a branch of a sports clinic and a boutique hotel at the stadium itself.

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By the way, it is built in the form of a man’s hafia headdress (a traditional knitted hat worn by men in the Middle East).

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

Al Rayyan. Local team stadium and huge sports cluster

Capacity: 40,000 (after – 20,000)
Start of construction: 2001-2002, 2016 (reconstruction)
End of construction: 2020 (final stage)
City: Er-Rayyan

Al Rayyan will replace the old Ahmed bin Ali, the home stadium of the local Qatar championship team. The peculiarity of the design of the new arena is that during the construction they used recycled materials from the old complex, and what was not useful was used for art and turned into art installations. The area around is planned to be turned into a whole sports cluster, equipping it with cricket and football fields, a children’s playground, an outdoor gym, tennis courts, a skate park, a water sports center and jogging tracks. In addition, the previously built shopping center will be adjacent to the stadium.

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

Al Janoub. Stadium by Zaha Hadid with retractable roof

Capacity: 40,000 (after – 20,000)
Start of construction: 2014
End of construction: May 2019
City: El Wakrah

Architect Zaha Hadid proposed to make the roof sliding in order to fulfill one of the main tasks of the project – to protect spectators and football players from the hot sun: if necessary, the field and stands can be completely hidden from the sun’s rays in 30 minutes. And so that it would not be hot inside, air conditioning and cooling systems were installed under the seats, capable of lowering the air temperature to 18 degrees. Another important point is sandstorms. When developing the concept of the stadium, much attention was paid to this: so much so that they tested a 3D model in a wind tunnel, trying to find the ideal shape of the arena that would withstand the wind load.

After the World Cup, the stadium will be cut in half and will become the new home for the local team, Al Wakrah. Nearby there is a large park “Al Janub” with bicycle and jogging paths, playgrounds, later there will be a market, a mosque and a school.

Photo: World Cup 2022 Organizing Committee

Qatar said it wants to make this World Cup the most environmentally friendly. Rebuilding stadiums and recycling materials are just part of this program

Together with FIFA, Qatar has developed a sustainable development strategy that focuses on two issues – workers and the environment. First, about the environment.

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Promotion of low-carbon solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What are they planning to do:

– to optimize the number of temporary power generators;

– reduce the number of unnecessary supplies;

– use “clean” technologies;

– to reduce the number of tourist and business trips during the World Cup;

– purchase materials that maximize energy efficiency and reduce emissions;

– electric transport: metro (being built), electric buses (purchased) and trams (laying tracks);

– plant trees and plants near stadiums and training grounds (about 850,000 square meters).

Water. Using recycled water to irrigate parks and lawns in stadiums.

Trash. In Qatar, only 10% of waste is recycled, but by 2022 they want to bring this figure to 15%. Waste sorting bins will be installed for the fans.

Improving energy efficiency. Build 500 MW solar power plants to reduce dependence on oil and gas.

The full strategy can be found here.

Human rights activists have long tried to influence the cancellation of the World Cup in Qatar because of the attitude towards workers. The builders became almost slaves

Amnesty International, an international non-governmental organization, recently released another report on the lives of construction workers in Qatar. It focuses on violent labor abuse and exploitation of migrants. The international media wrote about this more than once, films were shot by the TV company, but they were not heard for a long time.

Workers who came to Qatar mainly from Nepal, India and Bangladesh fell into the kafala system: a person becomes attached to his employer, giving him all his documents, without the opportunity to return to their homeland without special permission. Unemployed people were lured by high salaries and housing, but when they arrived in Qatar, they, in fact, fell into slavery. Many workers who worked on construction sites were not paid their wages for months and were not allowed to go home.

1400 human lives. This is the price of FIFA stadiums

Slavery of the XXI century. But the authorities don’t care.

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They are paid $ 6 a day. They consider these conditions slavish and refuse to build stadiums for the world championship.

Qatar has recently expanded labor rights for migrants, weakening the system, as well as raising the minimum wage to $ 275 + allowances. But it hardly got better. Migrants continue to work on construction sites for 16 hours seven days a week, although the new laws have reduced the working day to 10.

Against this background, all the beautiful words about donating materials from dismantled stadiums to those in need, environmental friendliness and using the heritage of the World Cup for the good of society look hypocritical.

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