World Cup Qatar in 2022 is approaching the kick-off date, which is about a year to go. This week the fifth stadium for the tournament, Al-Thumama, was finally launched last Friday. It was used to hold the Emir Cup Final between Al-Sadd and Al-Rayyan, which is currently led by Laurent Blanc. About thousands of people were reportedly attending the stadium's inauguration and opening ceremony, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino and surely Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
The head of world football governing body made a statement regarding this venue's launching:
"Al Thumama Stadium is another work of art and carries a lot of significance for the country and the region."
Located at 7.5 miles South from the capital, Doha, this venue is the only one designed by Qatari architect, Ibrahim Mohammed Jaidah instead of by foreign one. The 40,000-seat stadium has a unique resemblance to shape of Taqiyah, the traditional hat commonly worn by Arabian men. This venue which began its construction in 2017 will be scheduled to hold eight games in the world cup next year, including one fixture each at the round of 16 and quarter final stages. This December, Al Thumama is also picked to stage six matches in FIFA Arab Cup, including the clash of Morocco and Saudi Arabia at the group stage, and two games at quarter final and semi final.
The area surrounding the stadium is well known for the expatriates as it is the exclusive region in this Moslem country which owns the legal privilege to sell alcoholic drinks and porks plus build Christian churches. After the world cup, the stadium's capacity itself will be reduced to only half of it and the remaining part of the stadia will be repurposed for other functions such as a boutique hotel and a sport clinic.
The unveiling of Al-Thumama Stadium this week means that there have been five venues are ready to be used. The other four are Khalifa International Stadium, Education City Stadium, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, and Al-Janoub Stadium. The remaining three, Ras Abu Aboud, Al-Bayt, and Lusail are still in progress of the finishing stage of the construction.
Meanwhile, the Emir Cup final match itself ended in a 1-1 stalemate before Xavi's Al Sadd sealed their victory on penalties. It is the seventh trophies which the former Barcelona talisman has won for his current team.