The first World Cup to be held in the Arab world will kick off on Sunday when host nation Qatar face Ecuador.
The countdown to the 2022 World Cup has begun. Time for the opening match is running out, nearly 12 years after Qatar secured the rights to host the major soccer tournament.
On November 20, the first matches of the World Cup to be held in the Arab world will kick off with the host country facing Ecuador.
This marks the culmination of Qatar’s extraordinary campaign to first win the vote to host the tournament and then proceed to spend tens of billions of dollars building stadiums and infrastructure.
Holding the event in a desert country necessitated an unprecedented reorganization of the international football calendar, moving the World Cup from its usual summer venue in the northern hemisphere to avoid the scorching heat of the Gulf state.
The country of three million people, one of the largest producers of natural gas in the world, has spent generously.
The new stadiums cost more than $6.5 billion and a $36 billion driverless subway system serves five of the eight stadiums.
By some estimates, total infrastructure spending over the past decade has exceeded $200 billion.
Organizers estimate that more than 1.2 million fans will travel to Qatar. They responded to concerns about the lack of accommodation by using three cruise ships as floating hotels. It was sold out in the first two weeks of the tournament.
About 2.9 million of the 3.1 million tickets have been sold, organizers said, and fans are waiting outside the FIFA Ticket Center in hopes that rare tickets will become available for the most important matches.
come available for the top games.