DOHA: Qatar will soon start work on its first new football stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, a top official said in an interview.
Qatar won the rights to stage football’s showpiece event in 2022 after beating bids from the US, Japan, England, South Korea and Australia more than two years ago.
According to Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrehman Al Thani, the work on the new stadium is expected to be completed in 2015. The new stadium will be built inside Qatar Foundation (Education City).
In their bid file, Qatar pledged to build five new stadiums including an 80,000-seater Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Sheikh Saoud, who is the secretary general of the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), said Qatar will upgrade existing football and sports facilities in the coming years. He said four new football clubs will be added to the Qatar Stars League’s (QSL) roster that has 12 teams currently.
A new aquatic facility is expected to be built besides upgrading the Hamad Aquatic Centre. He said Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning will give more details in due course of time.
Sheikh Saoud said schools in Qatar will get new sports facilities as part of efforts to help students take to sport at an early age.
In another sports first for the region, Qatar will inaugurate an Anti-Doping Laboratory today.
Qatar also has plans to house sports artifacts and archive memorabilia at what will be a ‘unique’ sports museum. The sports museum is expected to be completed by 2015.
Qatar, the 2022 World Cup hosts, will be bidding for the 2024 summer Olympics, despite having failed to make the cut in the race to host the 2016 and 2020 Games, the QOC official told
Al Sharq newspaper.
The 2006 Asian Games and 2011 AFC Asian Cup hosts failed to make the short-list for the 2020 Games, leaving Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul in the running as the leading candidates.