Qatar's sixth FIFA World Cup 2022 tournament venue was unveiled on Friday night when Al Thumama Stadium hosted the Amir Cup Final between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd.
The inauguration ceremony took place prior to the final and involved local schoolchildren celebrating the design of the stadium. On the pitch, Al Sadd won the final 5-4 on penalties after the match finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. It was a record 18th victory in the competition for the Wolves.
The stunning venue -- which was designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim M Jaidah -- was inaugurated in the presence of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Amir of Qatar.
Designed to resemble the 'gahfiya' head cap worn by men and boys across the Arab world, Al Thumama is the first FIFA World Cup stadium to be designed by a Qatari architect. The 40,000-capacity venue will host matches up to the quarter-finals stage during Qatar 2022. It follows Khalifa International, Al Janoub, Education City, Ahmad Bin Ali and Al Bayt in being declared ready to host matches during next year's tournament.
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, said as per Qatar 2022 official website: "Qatar continues to amaze the football world and it will not stop until the curtain closes on the FIFA World Cup. Al Thumama Stadium is another work of art and carries a lot of significance for the country and the region. I cannot wait to see the first FIFA pan-Arab football tournament being held right here in a few weeks' time, and to witness the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East just one year from now."
"I am thrilled to be here today, next to His Highness the Amir, and to have the opportunity to personally thank him for Qatar's efforts, which go way beyond delivering what will be the best FIFA World Cup ever in 2022," added Infantino.
Al Thumama features state-of-the-art cooling technology, which will allow the venue to host events throughout the year. Its precinct includes a number of sporting facilities, including cycling and running tracks, and extensive green spaces, for the benefit of the local community.