Qatar's compact World Cup beneficial to everyone

Qatar's small surface area is a boon to host the 2022 World Cup becuase of the short distances between venues.

Qatar's small surface area is a boon to host the 2022 World Cup.
Qatar's small surface area is a boon to host the 2022 World Cup.

Recent figures calculated on distances between venues for Qatar’s anticipated 2022 World Cup, show that the tournament is going to be geographically compact.

Gulf News reported that World Cup organisers in the Gulf, using a satellite mapping tool, have calculated the travel distances between the planned eight venues for the 2022 tournament.

The result is that the longest distance between stadiums will be 55km, the same as travelling from Manchester United’s Old Trafford to Liverpool’s Anfield, the figures released on Monday show.

The calculations revealed that the shortest distance will be just 4.5km from the Khalifa International to Qatar Foundation stadium, approximately the same as that between Arsenal’s Emirates ground and London rivals Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane.

The figures were released by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), to mark that it is exactly six years until the first game of 2022 as well as drawing attention to the compact nature of the Qatar event.

In extreme contrast, distances between venues for Brazil’s World Cup were much farther. Even the shortest distance was almost 340km, while the longest distance between venues was more than 3,140km, according to the figures.

The short distances between Qatar's venues will serve the tournament well according to the organisers, who say the tournament will be the “ultimate live experience” for fans, giving supporters the chance to attend more than one game a day.

With short distances between venues, there could be as many as four games played each day at the beginning of the tournament, mainly because the event will take place over 28 days, making it the shortest World Cup ever, with four fewer days than normal.

The reduced length of the tournament came about when FIFA moved the event to November/December 2022 rather than the traditional June/July, because of concerns about Qatar’s fierce summer heat.

SC’s assistant secretary general, Nasser Al Khater added: “We have always maintained that Qatar’s size will make it one of the most unique World Cups ever that will benefit both fans and players.”

Teams too would have far less travelling and could be based in one location for the entire tournament.

“Compare this to the USA’s group stage travel during Brazil 2014, which saw them notch up nearly 9,000 air miles just for their first three games,” the official added.

Qatar is at the halfway point to hosting the World Cup as it was controversially awarded the tournament by Fifa on December 2, 2010 and, despite ongoing criticism around its labour force and human rights issues, earlier this month, Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the Supreme Committee said the tournament was a “done deal”.

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