If there are two iconic matches in all editions of the football World Cup, these are the final, which defines the champion of the tournament, and the opening game, where the world receives confirmation that the greatest event in the world of football has begun. This moment in Qatar 2022 is getting closer and closer.
On November 21, the ribbon will be cut for the next FIFA World Cup. As has been the trend since Germany 2006, it was expected that at Qatar 2022, the host country would play the main role in the opening game. The final draw determined that the Qataris’ first game would be against Ecuador to Al Bayt Stadium. However, there was a change of plans.
The honor of being the first battle of Qatar 2022 was awarded to the duel between Senegal and the Netherlands. These national teams are part of group A as well as Qatar and Ecuador. The stadium that will go down in history as the home of the opening match of the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup is Al Thumama Stadium. Read on to learn all about it.
The history of Al Thumama Stadium
In August 2017, Qatar shared the stadium construction project with the world by displaying a mock-up of the stadium at Hamad International Airport in Doha. Right from the start, it attracted attention for its innovative design, very much in tune with Qatari culture. Its final cost was approximately $342 million.
Al Thumama Stadium was officially inaugurated in October 2021, during the final of the Emir Cup, the Qatari local football cup. The honor went to the match between Al Sadd and Al Rayyanwhich ended in victory for Al Sadd after a thrilling penalty shootout.
The location of the host stadium for the Qatar 2022 opening match
Al Thumama Stadium is the closest venue to Doha Hamad International Airport (just 8 miles away), the world’s main gateway to Qatar. It is also just 7 miles from downtown Doha. The venue is located in Al Thumama district, one of Doha’s newer districts, and is named after a plant that grows abundantly in the area and is extremely adaptable to the desert climate.
Remember that due to the proximity between each of the 8 stadiums where the 64 matches of Qatar 2022 will be played, this will be the first World Cup where supporters will be able to attend up to two matches on the same day. To find out how to get around between the different Qatar 2022 venues, read this story.
Features of Al Thumama Stadium
Its design was created by the Qatari architect, Ibrahim Mohammad Jaidahand is clearly inspired by the Gahfiya, a traditional Arabic headgear worn by men mainly on religious holidays, in a clear nod to the culture prevalent in Qatar.
Al Thumama Stadium is more than just one of the stadiums for the next FIFA World Cup. Surrounded by a public park of over 50,000 square meters, it is one of Qatar’s main areas for recreation, rest and relaxation, with nearly 400 planted trees covering 84% of the surrounding area.
Due to its design and the huge green space that surrounds it, the Qatar 2022 opening match stadium ensures very efficient collection and maintenance of water, which is used to replenish all its needs and to irrigate the vegetation. which surrounds it.
Moreover, thanks to its innovative design, Al Thumama Stadium is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allows it to support environmental sustainability. In fact, its air conditioning and cooling system inside the stadium is powered by solar energy.
What is the capacity of Al Thumama Stadium at Qatar 2022?
The opening match of the next FIFA World Cup between Senegal and the Netherlands on November 21 will be able to be followed live by 40,000 spectators. It should be noted that the plan for this stadium is to reduce its capacity by half after the end of Qatar 2022 and to donate the 20,000 seats that are taken away to other nations who are in the process of building stadiums, after the end of Qatar 2022. end of Qatar 2022.
Which Qatar 2022 matches will be held at Al Thumama Stadium?
A total of eight matches of the upcoming FIFA World Cup will be played at Al Thumama Stadium. Six of them, including the tournament opener, will be Group stage matchesand two more will be Knockout matches: the first of the round of 16, in which the first place of group D will face the second place of group C, and the last of them will be the quarter-finals.
Senegal vs Netherlands – 21 November
Spain vs Costa Rica/New Zealand – November 23
Qatar v Senegal – November 25
Belgium vs Morocco – November 27
Iran vs. USMNT – November 29
Canada v Morocco – 1st December
First place in group D against second place in group C – Round of 16 – December 4
Quarter-final match – December 10