Stadium 974

The World Cup 2022 in Qatar is about five months away. All 32 teams who will fight it out for the biggest prize in football have also been finalized, with Costa Rica clinching the last spot after defeating 10-man New Zealand 1-0 in their intercontinental play-off.

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The focus of the teams and their supporters is now on the main tournament, with the venues the centre of attention in what will be the first World Cup in the Middle East.

Each venue in the country has a unique tale behind it. Like the 974 Stadium. The Ras Abu Aboud Stadium, as it is officially known, has a capacity of 40,000 and is basically a ‘pop-up’ stadium built out of shipping containers on Doha’s waterfront.


The Al Thumama Stadium continues the trend of innovation. The 40,000-capacity stadium has been designed keeping tradition in mind. The stadium resembles a gahfiya, which is the cap worn underneath a ghutra.

With heat always a concern in the region, every seat has air conditioning vents below it throughout the stadium, which is a salient feature at all venues at the World Cup.

The 80,000-capacity Losail Stadium is the main venue for the World Cup and will host the final on December 18. The other locations for the showpiece event are the Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Education City Stadium, and the Al Janoub Stadium.

With Costa Rica beating New Zealand 1-0 in the qualifier and booking their flight to Qatar this winter, all 32 teams have been locked in for FIFA Men’s World Cup 2022.

The 22nd edition of the tournament will also be the last to feature 32 teams with the next edition in 2026 having been announced as a 48-nation competition.

France won the last edition back in 2018 in Russia and were the sixth team to qualify for this year’s World Cup. Qatar were the first to make the list of the 32 countries, an automatic qualification for being the hosts.

Here’s all you need to know about the competition later this year.

FIFA World Cup 2022 Venues

The 64 match competition shall be played across eight venues in Qatar. The tournament opener will be hosted at the Al Bayt Stadium whilst the largest of all eight venues, Lusail Stadium shall be the home for the final on December 18. Below is the list of all the stadiums, the number of matches they’ll host and their seating capacity.

The eyes of the globe will be on Qatar when they play host to the 2022 World Cup. Many have questioned its ability to cater for the biggest show on turf, but the country is no stranger to large sporting events. The tiny Arab nation has previously held both Formula One and Moto GP Grand Prix’s as well as the FIFA Arab Cup only last year. When you think about it, it’s rather incredible how Qatar has evolved to become a major attraction for competitive spectacles and tourism alike. Fascinated by this rising society, I decided to head over to its capital of Doha ahead of the tournament and create a guide for football fans and potential travelers keen to immerse themselves within its unique offering. Whether it’s food, architecture, activities, sport, or accommodation, this list will ensure you make the most of the trip.

While there’s an incredible story behind most playing venues, Stadium 974 is genuinely one-of-a-kind. Located across the water from Doha’s magical West Bay skyline, the 40,000 seater dons a new age for innovation and design. The temporary venue is made from 974 recycled shipping containers in homage to the site’s industrial history and the international dialling code for Qatar (+974). Miraculously, the containers house everything from the players’ changerooms to corporate boxes, along with amenities such as bathrooms and concessions. Following the World Cup, the shipping containers and seats will be dismantled and used to assist other under-developed countries worldwide. So if you don’t have a chance to check it out in Qatar, keep a lookout for Stadium 974 showing up somewhere else in the future.

The biggest tournament in football is in sight. There are still two more spots at the World Cup to be decided, but with scarcely more than five months to go until Senegal and the Netherlands get the tournament underway in Doha, it’s time to unleash the wall charts (full schedule here) and pencil in what we’re expecting to happen in Qatar.

Will France become the first back-to-back champions in 60 years? Can England continue their hot run at tournaments? Or will it all come crashing down against the USMNT as Gregg Berhalter’s side begin a remarkable march to glory? Let’s find out:


Inter-confederation playoffs
Australia 0, Peru 1
Costa Rica 1, New Zealand 0

Though Australia got the job done in their first match in Doha, they fail to impress an underwhelmed public back home and play down to expectations the following week as Peru return to the biggest sporting stage on earth. The inter-confederation playoffs are low on attacking quality, no great surprise when Costa Rica’s obdurate defense got them this far. It does the trick against New Zealand too, Keylor Navas making key saves at one end before Joel Campbell scrambles home at the other. Finally the lineup for Qatar 2022 is set.

Group A predictions

1 Senegal 2 1 0 3 7
2 Netherlands 2 0 1 3 6
3 Ecuador 0 2 1 0 2
4 Qatar 0 1 2 -5 1

Matchday 1 picks

Senegal 1, Netherlands 0
Qatar 2, Ecuador 2

Matchday 2 picks
Qatar 0, Senegal 2
Netherlands 2, Ecuador 1

Matchday 3 picks
Ecuador 1, Senegal 1
Netherlands 3, Qatar 0

Senegal get the World Cup off to a bang, turning back the clock by 20 years to their shock win over France to open proceedings in Japan and South Korea. The only difference this time is that their victory over the Dutch comes as no great surprise, setting them on course for top spot in Group A. The Dutch rally to finish second just ahead of an Ecuador side who give them an almighty scare in the second round of group games, Moises Caicedo starring for a team who seem destined for big things in 2026. Qatar, meanwhile, fail to show much sign of a host’s bounce.

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