Qatar is set to inaugurate a third football stadium completed for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The Education City Stadium, a 40,000-capacity venue on the outskirts of the capital Doha, is right in the middle of some of Qatar’s leading universities.
“The stadium’s completion will be marked on June 15 with a live program which celebrates the contribution of front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic,” a statement by the organizing committee said on Thursday.
“The show will also discuss the future of sport, mental health and fan experience in a post-COVID-19 world,” it added.
The coronavirus pandemic has already thrown the world’s sporting calendar into chaos, forcing the cancellation and postponement of major events.
These include the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled for July and football’s Euro championships due to start this month. Both events will now take place next year.
Qatar, which will become the first country in the Middle East to host the World Cup, is continuing its preparations and construction to deliver a total of eight venues in time for the 2022 tournament.
“We are continuing to work at a much slower pace than normal, but we are blessed with already being ahead of the game in terms of infrastructure,” Hassan al-Thawadi, secretary-general of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said on a Leaders in Sport live stream last month.
“We have completed more than 80 percent of venues two and a half years before kick-off,” he added.
Qatar has started to ease its coronavirus restrictions, allowing people to exercise outdoors without having to wear a mask and extending the working hours of the commercial and service sectors.
So far, the Gulf state has reported more than 63,000 coronavirus cases and 45 deaths.
The FIFA World Cup is scheduled from November 21-December 18, 2022, breaking with tradition with a winter kick-off to avoid Qatar’s scorching summer heat.