DOHA: The first venue completion ahead of Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup has been ticked off by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Qatar’s Khalifa International Stadium has been expanded to seat more than 40,000 spectators after extensive renovation works ahead of the finals in which it will host matches until the quarter-finals.

The redevelopment includes the installation of cooling technology promised during Qatar’s successful bid, which will keep the pitch at an optimum 26°C and the stands at 24-28°C year-round while using 40pc less energy than traditional cooling methods.

Committee secretary-general Hassan Al Thawadi said: “The completion of our first stadium more than five years before the Qatar World Cup begins is an important milestone that reflects our determination to deliver a tournament the entire Arab world is proud to be a part of.

“As we promised in our bid, our innovative stadiums offer an unrivalled experience to fans and players alike. I’m proud we can show these off to the world and welcome fans with the hospitality this World Cup will be remembered for.”

A first event the renovated stadium will host is the 2017 Emir Cup final, Qatar’s most prestigious domestic football tournament.

The stadium was originally built in 1976 and events have included the Gulf Cup on two occasions, the FIFA U-20 Youth World Championships in 1995, the 2006 Doha Asian Games, the 2011 AFC Asian Cup final and international friendlies between top world teams.

The stadium will also host another Gulf Cup in December this year and the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Athletics before the World Cup kicks off on November 21, 2022.

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