In the presence of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and in front of a capacity crowd of 40,000, Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah City hosted the Amir Cup final on Thursday night to become the second fully operational FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ tournament venue.
Following the successful inauguration of the redeveloped Khalifa International Stadium in May 2017, Al Janoub Stadium also becomes the first Qatar 2022 venue to be built from scratch – three-and-a-half years ahead of the big kick-off.
Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organisation responsible for delivering the infrastructure required for Qatar 2022, jointly announced the venue would host the Amir Cup final 2019 in April – and under the patronage of His Highness the Amir, the opening game at the venue was a resounding success.
On the night, Al Duhail beat Al Sadd 4-1 to win the Amir Cup for the third time in four seasons. It was a disappointing night for legendary midfielder Xavi Hernandez, who will retire from playing at the end of the season after spending four seasons with the Wolves.
After spectacular pre-match activities – featuring local music, poetry, performance and stunning visual effects, all paying homage to Al Wakrah’s seafaring past – the stadium hosted its first game.
H.E Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmad Al Thani, QFA President, said: “I am delighted that in the presence of His Highness the Amir – and along with our colleagues and stakeholders – Al Janoub Stadium has successfully launched with the 2019 edition of the country’s most prestigious football event – the Amir Cup final.
“I wish to extend my congratulations to both Al Duhail and Al Sadd, whose performances were fitting of this magnificent occasion, and thank all those who have worked together to ensure this event was a resounding success.”
SC Secretary General, H.E Hassan Al Thawadi, added: “The launch of Al Janoub Stadium represents another momentous milestone on the road to 2022. During the bid we told the world to expect amazing and with this magnificent stadium launch – along with the six others to follow – I am proud to report we are delivering on that promise.
“To have completed this stadium with more than three years to go is another source of pride for us and our many stakeholders across the State of Qatar. I look forward to continuing our work together to ensure the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is one of the most memorable editions in the tournament’s long and illustrious history.”
Al Janoub Stadium is located 23km south of Doha’s city centre, and in 2022 will host matches until the quarter-finals stage of the FIFA World Cup™.
The stadium was designed by architectural icon Zaha Hadid, who was inspired by the sails of traditional dhow boats to produce a concept which honours Al Wakrah’s past, while looking forward to its bright future.
The venue, which will become the home of popular QNB Stars League team Al Wakrah Sports Club post-2022, is fitted with innovative cooling technology. Thanks to its modular nature, the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 20,000 after the tournament, with the excess seats – from the upper tier – being donated to football development projects overseas.
Yasir Al Jamal, Vice Chairman of the Technical Delivery Office at the SC and Chairman of the Host Country Operations Office, said: “Seeing 40,000 fans at Al Janoub Stadium for the Amir Cup final was a huge honour for everyone involved in the project. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this feat, including the SC team, our various contractors and consultants. A huge thank you also to all of the Qatari companies who have been involved in the construction of the stadium – we are proud that more than 50 per cent of the project budget was invested in the local economy.”
Al Jamal continued: “The successful delivery of Al Janoub Stadium wouldn’t have been possible without outstanding collaboration between the project team and our stakeholders across the country. We are very proud to have delivered a state-of-the-art venue that is sure to become a fans’ favourite in 2022.”
Nasser Al Khater, Chief Executive Officer, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, said: “We have tonight – alongside our stakeholders – delivered a second world-class and fully operational stadium, fit to host the world’s greatest football competition in 2022. Work on this stadium began in 2014, and to reach where we are today in such a short period of time is a remarkable achievement for all involved.
“The stadium itself will, I’m certain, become one of the most iconic venues in 2022 and we will remember tonight for many years to come. With progress at each of the other six sites rapidly advancing, we can also look forward to many more moments like this in the years leading up to the tournament – as we prepare to welcome the world to Qatar in 2022.”
Al Janoub Stadium Project Manager, Thani Khalifa Al Zarraa, said: “It has been an incredible journey for everyone involved in the construction of this magnificent stadium. The venue looks amazing and that is testament to the hard work of everyone involved. It is a privilege to say we were the ones who delivered the first stadium from scratch for Qatar 2022.”
Sources: QFA, SC