Lusail (Qatar): Qatar revealed the design for the stadium that will in four years' time host the first ever World Cup finals game to be played in the Middle East.
Qatar unveils 2022 World Cup final stadium design
The 80,000-seat Lusail Stadium -- also the venue for the 2022 World Cup final -- was revealed in an elaborate ceremony attended by the country's ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and other dignitaries, including the United Nations' secretary-general, Antonio Guterres. Hassan al-Thawadi, the head of the country's World Cup organising body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, called the unveiling a "significant milestone". "Every milestone for us is always important," he said.
It also stands close to the site of the former home of Qatar's founder, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani al-Thani. The stadium sits in the completely new city of Lusail, a USD 45 billion (40 billion euro) project located 15 kilometres (nine miles) north of the capital Doha. It is one of the largest infrastructure schemes undertaken by Qatar, which is undergoing enormous transformation for the World Cup.
Construction work, in the shape of a Qatari/Chinese joint project, is set to finish in 2020. The unveiling of Lusail comes as world football's governing body FIFA is still considering whether to expand the tournament from 32 teams to 48. If that expansion occurs -- there is currently a feasibility study underway -- it is likely that tournament games will be shared among other countries in the region. "Ultimately the decision (on expansion) will be made with FIFA and Qatar," said Thawadi.