The 2022 Qatar World Cup marked one year to go to the big kick-off of the football extravaganza as it unveiled the official Countdown Clock at Doha’s Corniche Fishing spot on Sunday evening.
On November 21, 2022, the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab World will begin as the world’s best national teams meet in Qatar. The tournament will be like no other, offering fans the opportunity to discover the culture of the host country, and the chance to attend more than one match per day during the group stage.
Commenting on it, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said, “I’ve been involved in the organisation of sports events for the past few decades, I’ve never witnessed anything like what is happening here. Everything is ready, the venues will be fantastic. The experience for the fans will be great.”
“The world will discover a country and a whole region. Qatar, the Gulf region, the Middle East, the Arab world. A place where people meet and come together. This is what football is all about, this is about what this part of the world and its culture is all about, and the world will realise that,” he added.
On the other hand, speaking at the event, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said, “We are thrilled to unveil the Official Countdown Clock on the same day we come together to celebrate the one year to go milestone.”
“The unveiling of the Countdown Clock is a special moment for Qatar as a host country, as we enter the final straight on the way to delivering a transformative tournament with a lasting legacy — the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world,” he added.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will kick off at the stunning Al Bayt Stadium, which will be inaugurated just in a few days’ time when Qatar face Bahrain in the opening match of the FIFA Arab Cup Qatar 2021.
On the same day, the innovative Stadium 974 (Ras Abu Aboud) will also open its doors for the first time, leaving only one of the eight FIFA World Cup arenas – Lusail Stadium, the venue for the final – to be inaugurated early next year.
Significantly, the upcoming edition 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 was held in South Korea and Japan.
In addition, the showpiece evnt 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.
Notably due to Qatar’s intense summer heat, the upcoming 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; it is to be played in a reduced timeframe of around 28 days.