The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM Officially Kicks Off
November 29, 2022
Almost twelve years after the announcement by FIFA that Qatar will host the world cup, the world’s largest sports tournament officially kicked off on Sunday, November 20, 2022. The opening ceremony for the first-ever FIFA World Cup hosted in the Middle East was held in Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor. In attendance were the Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Father Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and several presidents, heads of state, and other world leaders.
Some of the more unique aspects of this tournament include:
- Match proximity – This World Cup is one of the most compact in history allowing fans to attend multiple matches in a single day;
- Accessibility – The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (“SC”) has sought to make this World Cup the most accessible in history and includes a number of “firsts” for differently-abled fans including the availability of audio descriptive commentary in Arabic and English at all matches. Three stadia also host sensory rooms for fans with sensory access requirements, and every venue was designed with accessibility in mind;
- Carbon neutrality – Qatar aims to host a carbon-neutral World Cup through the use of renewable energy, energy and water-efficient stadia, use of recycled materials, and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions;
- 32 Teams – This World Cup marks the last time there will be 32 qualifying teams; the next World Cup will see that number increase to 48; and
- First female referees – For the first time in history, female referees will officiate the men’s World Cup matches.
The tournament’s end is scheduled to coincide with Qatar’s National Day on December 18, 2022.