The 2022 FIFA World Cup is scheduled to be the 22nd running of the FIFA World Cup competition, the quadrennial international men’s football championship contested by the senior national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar from 20 November to 18 December 2022. This will be the first World Cup ever to be held in the Arab world, and the second World Cup held entirely in Asia after the 2002 tournament in South Korea and Japan.[a] In addition, the tournament will be the last to involve 32 teams, with an increase to 48 teams scheduled for the 2026 tournament in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Due to Qatar’s intense summer heat, this World Cup will be held from late-November to mid-December, making it the first tournament not to be held in May, June, or July and to take place in the northern autumn; it will be played in a reduced timeframe of around 29 days. The first match played at the tournament will be contested between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor. The final is due to be held on 18 December 2022, which also is Qatar National Day. The reigning World Cup champions are France.
In May 2011, allegations of corruption within the FIFA senior officials raised questions over the legitimacy of the World Cup 2022 being held in Qatar. The accusations of corruption have been made relating to how Qatar won the right to host the event. A FIFA internal investigation and report cleared Qatar of any violation, but chief investigator Michael J. Garcia has since described FIFA’s report on his enquiry as containing “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations.” On 27 May 2015, Swiss federal prosecutors opened an investigation into corruption and money laundering related to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids. On 6 August 2018, former FIFA president Sepp Blatter claimed that Qatar had used “black ops”, suggesting that the bid committee had cheated to win the hosting rights.
Additionally, Qatar has faced strong criticism due to the treatment of foreign workers involved in preparation for the World Cup, with Amnesty International referring to “forced labour” and poor working conditions, while many migrant workers reported having to pay large “recruitment fees” to obtain employment. An investigation by The Guardian newspaper claimed that many workers are denied food and water, have their identity papers taken away from them, and that they are not paid on time or at all, making some of them in effect slaves. The Guardian has estimated that up to 4,000 workers may die due to lax safety and other causes by the time the competition is held. Between 2015 and 2021, the Qatari government adopted new labour reforms to improve working conditions, including a minimum wage for all workers and the removal of the kafala system. According to Amnesty International, however, living and working conditions of the foreign workers have not improved in the last years.
The first five proposed venues for the World Cup were unveiled at the beginning of March 2010. The country intends the stadiums to reflect the historical and cultural aspects of Qatar, and for the designs to meet the following terms of reference: legacy, comfort, accessibility, and sustainability. The stadiums will be equipped with cooling systems that aim to reduce temperatures within the stadium by up to 20 °C (36 °F), but it is not yet known if this will actually work in the open-air stadiums. Their marketing includes statements describing the stadiums as Zero Waste, and the upper tiers of the stadiums will be disassembled after the World Cup and donated to countries with less developed sports infrastructure. Qatar aspires to be compliant and certified by the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) for all the World Cup stadiums. All of the five stadium projects launched have been designed by German architect Albert Speer & Partners. The Al Bayt Stadium will be the only indoor stadium of the eight used.
A report released on 9 December 2010 quoted FIFA President Sepp Blatter as stating that other nations could host some matches during the World Cup. However, no specific countries were named in the report. Blatter added that any such decision must be taken by Qatar first and then endorsed by FIFA’s executive committee. Prince Ali bin Al Hussein of Jordan told the Australian Associated Press that holding games in Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and possibly Saudi Arabia would help to incorporate the people of the region during the tournament.
According to a report released in April 2013 by Merrill Lynch, the investment banking division of Bank of America, the organisers in Qatar have requested FIFA to approve a smaller number of stadiums due to the growing costs. Bloomberg.com said that Qatar wishes to cut the number of venues to eight or nine from the twelve originally planned.
Although, by April 2017, FIFA had yet to finalise the number of stadiums Qatar must have readied in five years’ time, Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said it expected there would be eight in and near Doha (with the exception of Al Khor).
In January 2019, Infantino said that FIFA was exploring the possibility of having neighbouring countries host matches during the tournament, in order to reduce political tensions.
The most used stadium will be the Lusail Iconic Stadium, which will host 10 matches, including the final. The Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor will host 9 matches.
Stadium 974, formerly known as Ras Abu Aboud, is the seventh FIFA World Cup 2022 venue to be completed by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC). Its name comes from the number of shipping containers used in its construction and Qatar’s international dialling code. The stadium will host seven matches during the event.
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