Launching the third 2022 World Cup stadium, Qatar’s chief organizer said on Monday he was consulting with the English Premier League and Bundesliga to learn about how they are dealing with the coronavirus.
Hassan Al-Thawadi’s comments underscore how sports are taking into account the potential for ongoing health precautions at events, if there is no vaccine for COVID-19.
“This is an opportunity for all of us to learn from each other,” said Al-Thawadi, the general secretary of the Qatar organizing committee. “We are maybe in a better position than most in the sense that we have two years ahead where we can learn from other people’s experiences.”
The Bundesliga resumed last month and the Premier League’s 100-day shutdown ends on Wednesday, with fans prohibited from stadiums in Germany and England.
The Qatar World Cup does not start until November 2022.
The 40,000-capacity Education City stadium is the third venue to be completed after the redevelopment of Khalifa International in 2017 and last year’s opening of Al Janoub.
COVID-19 restrictions meant the third stadium was launched during a digital show rather than at the venue known as the “Diamond in the Desert.”
“Launching the stadium now – while the world is overcoming the coronavirus pandemic – shows everyone that there is light at the end of the tunnel and brighter days ahead,” Al-Thawadi said.
Qatar was awarded the Middle East’s first World Cup in a contentious FIFA vote in December 2010.
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