Plans for the main stadium of the 2022 World Cup have been revealed by tournament organisers in Qatar.
The 80,000 capacity Lusail Stadium will be the centrepiece of the World Cup, hosting the opening match and the final stages of the competition.
The stadium is already under construction and is due to be completed in 2020, with the World Cup set to kick off in just under four years’ time.
Hassan Al Thawadi, the Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the organisation responsible for organising the tournament, said: “The new stadium is a nod to our past and a symbol of an exciting future.”
The stadium was designed by British firm Foster + Partners, and its golden exterior references traditional Arabic architecture and craftsmanship. It is being built on land that was once home to Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani al Thani, the founder of modern Qatar.
FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said: “I particularly enjoy the fact that Middle Eastern culture is reflected in Lusail’s and several other designs, and look forward to seeing football fans from all over the world discover the culture and history of the region.”
The stadium also forms the heart of the new Lusail City, a development 15km north of central Doha.
After the World Cup the Lusail Stadium is set to become a multi-purpose community hub, with schools, shops, cafes, sports facilities and health clinics.
“We hope that one day, future generations look at Lusail Stadium as a source of inspiration, perseverance and innovation that enabled the transformation of Lusail into the modern city it is,” Al Thawadi continued.
Samoura added: “I am delighted to see Qatar’s continued commitment to excellence in the spectacular Lusail Stadium.
“Qatar’s stadiums are among the most eye-catching ever seen and the venue proposed for the final is absolutely gorgeous.”
Of the eight stadiums planned for the World Cup, the Khalifa International Stadium opened in 2017, while two more, the Al Wakrah and Al Bayt Stadiums, are due to be completed this year.