Qatar isn’t exactly a footballing hotbed so a host of new stadiums have popped up in time for the 2022 World Cup.
The tiny Middle Eastern state has prepared eight venues across five cities – the fewest since the 1978 World Cup in Argentina when just 16 teams took part – for the controversial tournament and all are within 21 miles of central Doha.
It will be the first World Cup in history to make use of a temporary venue while most of the other seven are set to be reduced in capacity and repurposed once the competition is done and dusted. The shiny new arenas also boast cooling systems to ease the heat and humidity with average temperatures of 26 degrees celsius. A bit too warm for the winter if you ask me…
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England’s group-stage fixtures are spread across three stadiums while Wales will play all three of their matches at the same venue in the outskirts of Doha.
Qatar open the tournament against Ecuador in the second-biggest arena on Sunday, November 20, with the final taking place at the massive Lusail Iconic Stadium four weeks later.
The latest World Cup odds are on the Paddy Power website, otherwise you’ll find details about the eight stadiums below.
Lusail Iconic Stadium
The largest stadium in Qatar will, unsurprisingly, stage the most matches – 10 to be precise – including the final. It was opened in November 2021 and the first match at the venue only took place in early September.
November 22: Argentina v Saudi Arabia (10:00)
November 24: Brazil v Serbia (19:00)
November 26: Argentina v Mexico (19:00)
November 28: Portugal v Uruguay (19:00)
November 30: Saudi Arabia v Mexico (19:00)
December 2: Cameroon v Brazil (19:00)
December 6: Round of 16 (19:00)
December 9: Quarter-Finals (19:00)
December 13: Semi-Finals (19:00)
December 18: Final (15:00)
Al Bayt Stadium
City: Al Khor
The only venue that is a bit of a trek from the centre of Doha will host nine matches including England’s second game in Group B. It was opened in November 2021 and hosted five matches during last year’s Arab Cup. The Three Lions will play here in the last 16 and last eight if they top their group.
November 20: Qatar v Ecuador (16:00)
November 23: Morocco v Croatia (10:00)
November 25: England v USA (19:00)
November 27: Spain v Germany (19:00)
November 29: Netherlands v Qatar (15:00)
December 1: Costa Rica v Germany (19:00)
December 4: Round of 16 (19:00)
December 10: Quarter-Finals (19:00)
December 14: Semi-Finals (19:00)
Khalifa International Stadium
City: Al Rayyan
One of only two arenas that has not been purpose built for the World Cup, the Khalifa International Stadium was opened in 1976 but has been renovated over the years. It will host England’s first match of the tournament. Liverpool fans might recognise the venue from the 2019 Club World Cup…
November 21: England v Iran (13:00)
November 23: Germany v Japan (13:00)
November 25: Netherlands v Ecuador (16:00)
November 27: Croatia v Canada (16:00)
November 29: Ecuador v Senegal (15:00)
December 1: Japan v Spain (19:00)
December 3: Round of 16 (15:00)
December 17: Third-Place Play-Off (15:00)
Education City Stadium
City: Al Rayyan
Opened in 2020, this venue has been branded as “one of the world’s most environmentally sustainable stadiums”. It was the third to be completed and has had plenty of usage ahead of the tournament but England and Wales will not play here.
November 22: Denmark v Tunisia (13:00)
November 24: Uruguay v South Korea (13:00)
November 26: Poland v Saudi Arabia (13:00)
November 28: South Korea v Ghana (13:00)
November 30: Tunisia v France (15:00)
December 2: South Korea v Portugal (15:00)
December 6: Round of 16 (15:00)
December 9: Quarter-Finals (15:00)
Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
City: Al Wakrah
The old stadium was demolished in 2015 – just 12 years after opening – and rebuilt in time for the 2020 Club World Cup. All three of Wales’ group games take place at the venue including the Battle of Britain with England to round off the first stage of the tournament.
November 21: USA v Wales (19:00)
November 23: Belgium v Canada (19:00)
November 25: Wales v Iran (10:00)
November 27: Japan v Costa Rica (10:00
November 29: Wales v England (19:00)
December 1: Croatia v Belgium (15:00)
December 3: Round of 16 (19:00)
Al Janoub Stadium
City: Al Wakrah
The home of Qatar Stars League team Al-Wakrah SC, the stadium was opened in 2019 and hosted the 2020 AFC Champions League Final. It boasts an air-conditioning system that cools the stands to 18 degrees celsius and pitch to 20 degrees celsius.
November 22: France v Australia (19:00)
November 24: Switzerland v Cameroon (10:00)
November 26: Tunisia v Australia (10:00)
November 28: Cameroon v Serbia (10:00)
November 30: Australia v Denmark (15:00)
December 2: Ghana v Uruguay (15:00)
December 5: Round of 16 (15:00)
Al Thumama Stadium
One of the most recent stadiums to open, it was inaugurated only 12 months ago, the design for the Al Thumama Stadium took its inspiration from the taqiyah, a traditional hat worn by men and boys in the Middle East.
November 21: Senegal v Netherlands (16:00)
November 23: Spain v Costa Rica (16:00)
November 25: Qatar v Senegal (13:00)
November 27: Belgium v Morocco (13:00)
November 29: Iran v USA (19:00)
December 1: Canada v Morocco (15:00)
December 4: Round of 16 (15:00)
December 10: Quarter-Finals (15:00)
A fun fact about this temporary venue is that its name comes from the number of shipping containers used in its construction and the country’s international dialling code.
November 22: Mexico v Poland (16:00)
November 24: Portugal v Ghana (16:00)
November 26: France v Denmark (16:00)
November 28: Brazil v Switzerland (16:00)
November 30: Poland v Argentina (19:00)
December 2: Serbia v Switzerland (19:00)
December 5: Round of 16 (19:00)
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