Thursday September 28, 2023

Qatar’s Biggest World Cup Stadium Opens With Big Problems

  • The Lusail Stadium hosted its first-ever match on Friday.
  • The $767 million stadium poor air conditioning, long transportation lines, and lack of hydration accessibility.
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The 2022 FIFA World Cup is just two months away, but Qatar doesn’t seem to be fully prepared.

On Friday, the $767 million Lusail Stadium hosted the Lusail Super Cup between the Saudi Professional League’s Al Hilal and Egyptian Premier League’s Zamalek — the stadium’s first-ever match.

More than 77,000 people attended the game, but many were less than impressed with their experience, citing lack of water accessibility and bathrooms, long transportation lines, and poor air conditioning.

  • “There’s no water, no Pepsi, no food,” said Qatari influencer Hussain al Ashaq. “Everyone is struggling to find anything to eat or drink.”
  • An anonymous supplier said they “were given the wrong directions over and over, and the parking passes we had were for lots that didn’t exist.”

“I don’t want to go to the World Cup anymore,” said Egyptian fan Eslam. “Not if it’s like this.”

A Qatar spokesperson told Reuters that the problems would not be an issue by the World Cup’s opening match, and the game allowed organizers to pinpoint issues early.

With 80,000 seats, Lusail is the largest of Qatar’s eight World Cup stadiums and will host 10 matches.

World Cup Wishes

If all goes as planned, Qatar, which is around 4,400 square miles and has a population of just under 3 million, expects that 1.2 million people will travel to Doha over the tournament’s duration — and estimates the tournament will add up to $17 billion to its economy.

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