With exactly four years to go for the 2022 World Cup, Qatar is going full-steam ahead to complete and deliver all the infrastructure for the tournament well in advance.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) have already redeveloped one stadium for the World Cup while seven others are in various stages of construction.
"I think this World Cup is extremely important, not only for Qatar but for the whole region – a region that has a passion for football and is investing a lot in the game.
"This World Cup is a unique opportunity – a chance to show the world what this region can offer; for football, but also for anybody in the world to come and visit a beautiful place, learn about a new culture and meet new people. In this world, especially in the current climate, it is very much needed that we open our doors and discover new places."
The recent World Cup in Russia set a high benchmark, said Infantino, who is expecting fans to receive a warm welcome in Qatar in 2022.
"There are many lessons we can learn from Russia," said Infantino. "The first one is how to welcome so many people – 1.5 million people came to Russia to enjoy the World Cup and they were all welcomed in a way that was unexpected to many. There were many fears about Russia, but it turned out to be a very safe World Cup, a very welcoming World Cup, in a country that made fans feel good. The whole population contributed to that and I'm sure the same will happen here in Qatar. The Russian World Cup was the best ever, and the World Cup in 2022 has to be even better."
The Khalifa international stadium, which boasts a capacity of 40000, in Doha has already been opened.
At Lusail Stadium (80000 capacity), the 24th – and final – main structural column to support the stadium façade has been installed. Meanwhile, concrete superstructure works are progressing in all zones.
The fabrication of containers for Ras Abu Aboud Stadium (40000 capacity) commenced in August 2018, with the first batch expected in Doha in February 2019.
More than 80 per cent of the stadium’s concrete frame has been completed for the Al Thumama stadium.
Concrete casting and fabrication of the shimmering façade is almost complete at the Education City stadium (40000 capacity).
The installation of the compression and tensile roof steel structure modules has been completed at the Al Rayyan stadium (40000 capacity).
The stadium structure has been completed, along with the installation of the retractable roof at Al Bayt Stadium (60000 capacity) while the stadium structure is now completed and work is progressing on internal finishes, the roof and façade works at the Al Wakrah Stadium (40000 capacity).
The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy Secretary General His Excellency Hassan Al Thawadi said, "In four years’ time, 1.5 million fans will descend on Qatar from every corner of the globe and billions more will tune in on their TVs, smartphones and tablets to watch 28 days of football. It will be a momentous occasion for the teams participating, the fans watching, and for the whole Arab world, which is eagerly anticipating hosting the showpiece event of the most popular sport in the world for the first time ever.
“Football, more than any other sport, has the power to build bridges of understanding between people and cultures. With key tournament and national infrastructure projects on-schedule and each of our legacy initiatives proving a catalyst for positive change both locally and abroad, we are delivering on our promise of hosting a unique and transformational FIFA World Cup for Qatar, the region and the world.”