Al Thumama stadium inaugurated - Qatar throws sixth 2022 World Cup-ready venue open

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Qatar, on Friday, achieved a significant milestone after inaugurating the Al Thumama stadium, the sixth tournament-ready venue for the 2022 World Cup to be thrown open to the world. 

The Al Thumama stadium was launched with the final of the Amir Cup where Al Sadd took on Al Rayyan in a tightly-contested clash in the presence of thousands of fans. Al Sadd, managed by Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez, managed to defeat Laurent Blanc-coached Al Rayyan on penalties after the match finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. 

The ceremony was held in the presence of His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar. FIFA President Gianni Infantino was also present during the match. 

Al Sadd SC Lift Trophy at Al Thumama Stadium

The Al Thumama stadium, located 12 kms south of Doha, has a capacity of 40000 and will host matches during the World Cup next year, up till the quarter-finals. The stadium follows Khalifa International, Al Janoub, Education City, Ahmad Bin Ali and Al Bayt stadiums which were already inaugurated and only two more World Cup venues remain to be launched.

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said: “Qatar continues to amaze the football world and it will not stop until the curtain closes on the FIFA World Cup. Al Thumama Stadium is another work of art and carries a lot of significance for the country and the region. I cannot wait to see the first FIFA pan-Arab football tournament being held right here in a few weeks’ time, and to witness the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East just one year from now.”

The stadium has many interesting facets including the presence of the revolutionary Advanced Cooling Tech. Designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah, the Al Thumama stadium's facade resembles the 'gahfiya ' - the traditional headcap worn by men and boys in the Arab region. 

Al Thumama Stadium

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), said: “We are incredibly proud to have inaugurated the sixth tournament-ready stadium ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup. Al Thumama is a very special venue for everyone in Qatar. It pays tribute to an important piece of clothing that is proudly worn by men and boys across the Arab world and its unique design showcases the talent and innovation of our people.”

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Al Thawadi continued: “We are now within touching distance of the World Cup. Soon we will pass the one year to go milestone and host the FIFA Arab Cup – which will give us a major opportunity to test all our plans for Qatar 2022. We stand ready and prepared to host a memorable World Cup for the benefit of Qatar, the region and the world.”

The Al Thumama stadium's capacity will be reduced after the World Cup to 20000 and a sports clinic and boutique hotel will be opened on the site. For the inauguration and the Amir Cup final, Qatar allowed vaccinated fans and fans who recently recovered from Covid-19 to apply for tickets. 

The Al Thumama stadium will also be a venue for the first-ever Arab Cup, set to be hosted in Qatar later this year.