With the 2022 FIFA World Cup just about 2000 days away from us, Qatar officially unveils the air-conditioned Khalifa International stadium.
The stadium will host The Emir Cup final, the biggest domestic cup competition in the country. This will be the first time that the world gets to see this state of the art stadium. The much talked about cooling technology will also be unveiled in this stadium.
Qatar’s controversial bid for the FIFA World Cup was met with much skepticism from the football world. The temperatures in the middle east are not conducive to football, especially in summer, when the temperatures can reach 45 degrees.
Central to Qatar’s bid was this cooling technology, which basically meant that the players and spectators will be inside an air-conditioned stadium.
The Emir Cup final will be contested between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan. Al Sadd is of course skippered by legendary Barcelona midfielder, Xavi Hernandez. Xavi, who took a stadium tour of the Khalifa Interntional Stadium, described it as “fantastic.”
“I think it is a source of immense joy and pride,” Nasser Al-Khater, a senior figure at World Cup organizing body, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, told AFP. “It’s a stadium dear to our hearts — Khalifa Stadium, so we’re happy that it’s the first stadium to be completed. It’s real, it shows you the progress you’ve been working hard on is actually coming to reality. And you can see it and you can feel it, it’s tangible. It’s a thrill.”
Approximately 500 nozzles will blast out cold air, keeping the temperatures at roughly 23 degrees Celsuis. There is a cooling centre very close to the stadium, from which chilled water is piped to the stadium. The man behind this technology is Dr Saud Ghani, who is a professor at Qatar University.
“There isn’t on earth, one open air, air-conditioned stadium,” said Dr Ghani.