FIFA World Cup Final Stadium tested with first mass sales

The $675 million stadium that Qatar will use for this year’s World Cup final underwent its first sale test on Friday with a match between the Egyptian champions and Saudi Arabia. 72 days after the tournament kicked off, organizers said the iconic 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium was packed with a pre-match party for Egyptian star Amr Diab and the match in which Al Hilal beat Egypt’s Zamalek on penalties after a 1-1 draw. .

Lusail Stadium was the last stadium to be officially opened, and Hassan Al Thawadi, head of the Qatar Organizing Committee, said it was an “emotional moment”.

“It’s the culmination of a 13-year journey,” he told beIN Sports.

The stadium, shaped like a traditional Arabic bowl, is located in the heart of a new town being built just north of the small Gulf nation’s capital. It will host 10 World Cup matches, including the December 18 final.

No further matches are planned before the tournament begins on November 20.

The game was a test of security, the system of cross-border immigration and the multi-billion dollar driverless metro train that will withstand the pressure, as it will transport more than a million fans around Doha during the World Cup.

To relieve pressure on the main international airport, Qatar this week reopened an old airport used by the ruling family and other dignitaries.

Hundreds of Saudi and Egyptian fans crossed the Abu Samra border in buses, after leaving their cars on the Saudi side.

Everyone had to apply for a special fan ID, the Hayya Card, which all fans would need to enter Qatar during the World Cup.

The treatment system was used in a tent in Abu Samra for the first time. Qatari authorities expect thousands of Saudis to support their national team during the tournament.

“We entered with only our passport and life card,” said Mohamed Megahed, an Egyptian living in Saudi Arabia. “It was simple and well organized.”

Another fan of Zamalek, Ahmed Mohieldin Othman, said, “We hope that this will be a promising start for a good World Cup for the whole Arab world.”

FIFA’s decision in 2010 to award Qatar the World Cup was criticized for the country’s rich treatment of foreign workers and the LGBT community.

But FIFA President Gianni Infantino said the World Cup would be “the best ever” and that foreign fans would have an experience like “a kid going to Disneyland for the first time and seeing the attractions and games”.

Promotion

FIFA says 2.45 million out of three million tickets have been sold and that the last round of online sales will take place later this month.

(This story has not been edited by the NDTV crew and is automatically generated from a shared feed.)

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