Doha, Qatar: Another Amir Cup final, another World Cup stadium unveiling.
The FIFA World Cup 2022 is still three years, six months and six days away but Qatar is moving fast with its preparations to make it the best ever.
And come Thursday the magnificent Al Wakrah Stadium open its gates for the fans for the first time when it hosts the Amir Cup final between Al Sadd and Al Duhail.
The Al Wakrah Stadium will be the first brand new Qatar World Cup venue to be unveiled.
There is another bit of history connected with the biggest match of the Qatari football calendar as it is also the career swansong of Al Sadd captain, who is a Barcelona and Spain legend.
Preparations are complete for the match, with the stadium, roads leading to it, the metro all in place.
The match starts at 10.30 pm but the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), the organisers of the match, have asked the fans to arrive at the stadium well in advance of the match time to avoid rush and traffic bottleneck. The stadium gates and fan zone will open at 7.30 pm.
Supreme Committee Media Relations Senior Officer Khalid Al Naama said they have made arrangements for Isha and Taraweeh prayers at three locations, with food outlets also available at the stadium.
“To make it easier for fans there will be a shuttle service to ferry fans from Wakrah metro station to the stadium. We want to thank the Ministry of Transport for providing the buses. In addition, fans can also make use of taxis. We want the fans to arrive early as it’s a new stadium and there will be a security cordon in and around the stadium,” said Al Naama at a press conference.
The temperature controlled Stadium will have free WiFi access in cooperation with Ooredoo while a total of 52 cameras will cover every bit of action at the stadium making it a top class experience for television viewers as well.
“It’s huge and unprecedented. During the World Cup final in Russia there were only 37 cameras so it will be a unique experience for the viewers on TV. There will be pre-match cultural activities which we want to keep as a surprise and hope people would enjoy it. There will be a large number of VIPs who will attend the match and their presence is not just because it is the opening of the Wakrah stadium but it’s an Amir Cup final and it’s a prestigious one. Former players, ambassadors, and regional associations will be represented so will be officials from FIFA,” said Al Naama.
Parking facilities are also in place but fans who want to drive to the stadium will have to adhere to the instructions of the security men, said Major Abdulla Al Ghanim, official spokesperson of Security Committee.
For more information and easy access to the stadium and the parking area, ticket-holders should download Amir Cup App available on App Store and Google Play. “The colour in the ticket indicates the place of parking and private cars can park there,” said Al Ghanim.