Education City Stadium to open in December
The 40,000-capacity arena, nicknamed the 'Diamond in the Desert', will become the third FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ stadium to open, following Khalifa International Stadium in 2017 and Al Janoub Stadium earlier this year.
Situated in the heart of Education City – in the Al Rayyan district of Qatar – the stadium shall host matches up to the quarter-finals stage in 2022. Fans will be able to access the stadium using the Doha Metro Green Line, which is set to open in the coming weeks.
The design of Education City Stadium draws on the rich history of Islamic architecture, blended with striking modernity. The façade features triangles that form complex, diamond-like geometrical patterns which appear to change colour depending on the sun's position.
Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), said unveiling the stadium on Qatar National Day would be a proud moment for the entire country.
"The inauguration of Education City Stadium will mark another major milestone on the road to delivering international football's showpiece event," said Al Thawadi. "Everyone in Qatar will feel immense pride when this architectural masterpiece is unveiled on our country's National Day, during the prestigious FIFA Club World Cup, and exactly three years before the Qatar 2022 final takes place."
Al Thawadi added: "Hosting the FIFA Club World Cup is a golden opportunity to boost preparation for 2022 while giving thousands of fans from across the globe a taste of what to expect in three years' time. We are immensely excited about hosting this tournament for the next two instalments, as we continue to finalise our plans for the World Cup."
It has already been confirmed that European champions Liverpool will contest the stadium's inaugural fixture after they received a bye to the semi-finals of the tournament. The Reds qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup after winning the UEFA Champions League in June. Liverpool's opponents in the semi-final will be decided during the tournament, which kicks off on 11 December.
Engineer Yasir Al Jamal, Vice Chairman of the SC's Technical Delivery Office, said: "We are honoured that Liverpool – one of the most famous and prestigious clubs in the world – will contest the opening match at Education City Stadium.
"We are also immensely proud that Education City Stadium will be the third tournament-ready venue for Qatar 2022 and the second, after Al Janoub Stadium, to be built from scratch. I would like to pay tribute to the entire project team, along with Qatar Foundation, one of our key stakeholders. They have collaborated brilliantly to deliver this magnificent structure three years before the FIFA World Cup is held right here in Qatar."
Sustainability lies at the heart of the Education City Stadium project. Post-2022, the stadium's seating capacity will be reduced to 20,000, with the modular upper tier donated to create sporting facilities overseas. The stadium will eventually provide sporting facilities for the numerous educational, research and innovation establishments at Education City.
The stadium was delivered by ASTAD Project Management, with FIA Fenwick Iribarren Architects serving as the lead designer. The JPAC joint venture has served as the design and build contractor, while Pattern were appointed as the lead design architect and BuroHappold appointed for engineering design.
The FIFA Club World Cup 2019 will be held in Qatar from 11-21 December. The matches will be played at three venues: Jassin Bin Hamad Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium and Education City Stadium. Five teams have qualified to-date: Al Sadd SC (host country representative*), Liverpool FC (UEFA), CF Monterrey (CONCACAF), ES Tunis (CAF) and Hienghène Sport (OFC). The AFC and CONMEBOL representatives will be confirmed in November.
The draw for the FIFA Club World Cup 2019 was made on 16 September in Zurich:
Match 1: Al Sadd SC vs Hienghène Sport
Match 2: CF Monterrey vs Winner Match 1
Match 3: AFC Winner vs ES Tunis
Match 4: Fifth place play-off
Match 5: CONMEBOL Winner vs Winner Match 3
Match 6: Winner Match 2 vs Liverpool FC
Match 7: Third-place play-off
Match 8: Final (Winner Match 5 vs Winner Match 6)
* NB: If Al Sadd win the AFC Champions League, they will enter the tournament in Match 3 and be replaced in the opening match by the AFC Champions League runners-up.