Tuesday 04 October 2022, 08:00

Living Football – Lusail Stadium opening continues FIFA World Cup countdown

  • The arena will host the Qatar 2022™ Final on 18 December

  • The stadium design features sustainable building practices with a clear eye on the future

  • The show also heads over to Singapore and Cuba

In the latest edition of Living Football, we continue our countdown to the eagerly anticipated FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ kick-off as we report on the grand opening of Lusail Stadium, which will provide the setting for the Final of the global showpiece on 18 December.

Situated 20km from the centre of the city, Lusail Stadium, one of the most eye-catching arenas on the planet, has been designed using sustainable building practices and with the future firmly in mind. Following the opening of the iconic stadium on 9 September, all of the venues are now ready to host the action at Qatar 2022, which will close on 18 December, when some 80,000 fans will pack out the Lusail Stadium stands as the curtain comes down on the biggest-ever FIFA World Cup™, before the arena is transformed into a community space that will house schools, shops, cafés, sporting facilities and health centres.

We spoke to the FIFA Chief Operating Officer – World Cup, Colin Smith, to find out how the pre-tournament preparations are going: “We’re all really excited and are now in the final stage of our preparations as we prepare to welcome the world here to Doha. We’ll have a compact and very unique set-up here in Qatar, with 32 national teams and as many sets of supporters all arriving at the same time in a very limited space. We’ll have all the noise, passion and colour of fans who are here to celebrate football and we’ll all enjoy it together. At the end of the day, this is what the World Cup is all about, it’s a celebration of football.” “We’re very fortunate that six of the eight World Cup stadiums were used for the FIFA Arab Cup™, and Lusail Stadium was the last one to be opened. It’s a brand-new and modern arena and the fans will get to enjoy some great moments close to the on-field action. We want everyone to have the best experience of their lives,” he added.

FIFA Forward – Singapore VAR Referee Muhammad Taqi Jahari

In this episode, we also hear from Singaporean official Muhammad Taqi Aljaafari Bin Jahari, who will be part of the VAR system team in Qatar. Thanks to the funding received through the FIFA Forward programme, Singapore is set to become the third Asian nation to implement VAR technology. Finally, we travelled over 17,000km to get the full lowdown on the partnership between the Cuban Football Association and the Brazilian Football Association, who joined forces to upskill youth coaches in the Caribbean nation.

Antonio Cimirro, Coaching instructor of the CBF Academy, talks to course participants at the Pedro Marrero stadium, during the FIFA Forward Development Partnership Cuba (AFC) and Brazil