Countdown to the World Cup: 7 days until the big kick-off
The Polish goalkeeper who has been called up for the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, Bartłomiej Drągowski, suffered a serious injury on Sunday while playing for Spezia against Verona and will definitely miss the World Cup.
Drągowski tried to clear the ball from Kevin Lasagna in the 38th minute of the game but collapsed in pain when the Verona player’s leg became entangled under the goalkeeper’s due to the unfortunate contact. This caused terrible ankle damage.
The Polish goalkeeper will be replaced by FC Copenhagen’s Kamil Grabara
While Lusail Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium are two of the showpiece venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, there are six other arenas across Qatar that will play crucial roles in the tournament. Located on the edge of the desert, 20 km west of the center of Doha, is the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium. It was specially built for the World Cup and replaced the original stadium that was there before.
The facade of the 40,000-capacity venue is meant to reflect the area’s sand dunes, while geometric patterns are designed to showcase the beauty of the desert, native flora and fauna, and commerce local and international. The first game it will host is USA v Wales on November 21, and it will also host a Round of 16 fixture.
Al Janoub Stadium is another venue with 40,000 seats. It is located in Al Wakrah, 22 km south of central Doha. The design of the arena is a tribute to the sails of traditional Qatari dhows. It will host six group matches, starting with France v Australia on November 22, as well as a Round of 16 tie.
Al Thumama Stadium is often seen first from above, as many international flights descend above the site. The 40,000 capacity arena is located 12 km south of central Doha. Its circular shape is inspired by the ‘gahfiya’ – the traditional woven cap adorned by men and boys in the Arab world. Senegal and the Netherlands will kick off their campaigns at the stadium on November 21, with a round of 16 match and a quarter-final also to be played there.
Surrounded by universities, the Education City Stadium is 7 km northwest of the center of Doha. The 40,000 capacity venue will get a taste of the tournament on November 22, with the match between Denmark and Tunisia. It will also host a round of 16 match and a quarter-final. Arguably the tournament’s most recognizable venue, Khalifa International Stadium has been Qatar’s main footballing arena since 1976. It is no stranger to hosting big occasions, having previously staged the FIFA Club World Cup FIFA and the IAAF World Athletics Championships. Located in Al Rayyan, just 5km west of central Doha, the stadium has been upgraded for the tournament, with an additional 12,000 seats and digital lighting. England and Iran will play their first match at the stadium on November 21, and it will also host a round of 16 match and the third-place play-off.
Stadium 974 is perhaps the most eye-catching of all the stadiums in the tournament. The 40,000 capacity venue is constructed entirely from shipping containers and steel, and is the first fully demountable indoor football stadium. Located 10 km east of the center of Doha, the design of the arena is a nod to the country’s tradition of global trade and seafaring. The “974” in the name of the stadium is the international dialing code for Qatar and the exact number of shipping containers used in the construction. Mexico and Poland will play the first match there on the 22nd, while the stadium will also host a round of 16 match.