Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar has become the fourth tournament venue for the FIFA World Cup 2022 to be inaugurated.
The stadium hosted the Amir Cup Final on Qatar National Day on Friday, in front of a small socially distanced crowd.
Seven matches will be played at the venue during the World Cup – The match and inauguration took place exactly two years before the scheduled final of the Qatar World Cup in 2022.
The 40,000-capacity venue sits alongside Khalifa International, Al Janoub and Education City as the venues that have been being declared ready to host FIFA World Cup matches.
“The Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium is a wonderful football stadium,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who attended the inauguration of the stadium.
“The atmosphere is incredible, with the seats extremely close to the pitch. Even with a physically distanced crowd, I could feel the passion of the fans. I am sure this will be a perfect football arena in 2022 when it hosts matches during the World Cup.”
“I would like to congratulate Qatar and HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the completion of this venue.”
“The country is very well prepared for the next FIFA World Cup and on track to host a memorable instalment of the tournament – the first in the Middle East and the Arab world.”
The match was attended by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar – some major names in world football also made an appearance with AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin attending the match.
“Tonight was an immensely proud occasion for Qatar and the people of Al Rayyan,” Chief Executive Officer of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC, Nasser Al Khater, said.
“It was also another opportunity to test our readiness for Qatar 2022, with thousands of fans enjoying the spectacle, despite the challenges caused by the ongoing pandemic.”
“We look forward to developing the Qatar 2022 fan experience further next year when we host more major tournaments, including the FIFA Club World Cup and FIFA Arab Cup – events that are sure to excite football lovers in Qatar, across the region and around the world.”