Qatar’s World Cup delivery committee insists it will produce an “iconic, contemporary stadium” for the 2022 final, after announcing the architects of the principal venue for the controversial tournament.
London-based firm Foster + Partners has been awarded the contract to build Lusail Stadium – which will host the opening game and the tournament decider, among other fixtures – with the task of meeting the organizing committee’s earlier promise of delivering revolutionary air-conditioned complexes to protect both fans and players from intense heat.
While Fifa’s Executive Committee is set to ratify a change of date for the 2022 finals to November and December in order to combat potential issues caused by the climate, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy has confirmed it will stand by its pledge to build innovative stadia to make those attending as comfortable as possible.
“We look forward to working with Foster + Partners in creating an iconic, contemporary stadium inspired by Qatari culture,” said the supreme committee’s secretary general Hassan Al Thawadi in a statement. “Lusail Stadium will be the centerpiece of the tournament, an architecturally innovative stadium which maintains sporting functionality and delivers on our sustainability commitments.”
The 80,000-capacity air-conditioned Lusail Stadium will be built in Lusail City, 15 kilometers north of the Qatari capital Doha, and Foster + Partners’ chairman and founder Lord Foster added that he is thrilled to have been handed such a prestigious task.
“This is an exciting step forward in stadium design – it will be the first to break the mold of the free-standing suburban concept, and instead anticipates the grid of this future city, of which it will be an integral part,” said Foster.
There are already five stadiums under construction around Qatar, with question marks over the treatment of migrant workers in the building industry adding to the significant controversy surrounding the country’s status as hosts.