The longest distance between World Cup stadiums in Qatar will be just 55 kilometres (35 miles), equivalent to travelling from Manchester United’s Old Trafford to Liverpool’s Anfield, figures released Monday show.
World Cup organisers in the Gulf have calculated the distances between the proposed eight venues for the 2022 tournament using a satellite mapping tool.
As well as the distance between the Al-Bayt and Al-Khor stadiums, organisers said the shortest distance will be just 4.5 km (3 miles) from the Khalifa International to Qatar Foundation stadium.
That is approximately the same as that between Arsenal’s Emirates ground and London rivals Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane.
By contrast, the longest distance in Brazil between venues was more than 3,140 km, and the shortest almost 340 km, according to the figures.
They were released by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the body responsible for overseeing the tournament in Qatar, to mark the fact it is exactly six years until the first game of 2022 and underline the compact nature of their event.
Organisers say the tournament will be the “ultimate live experience” for fans, giving supporters the chance to attend more than one game a day in person.
As well as being held in a relatively small country with short distances between venues, there could be as many as four games played each day at the beginning of the tournament.
The is because the event will take place over 28 days, four fewer than normal, after FIFA moved the tournament to November/December 2022 rather than the usual June/July, because of concerns about Qatar’s fierce summer heat.
“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,” said the supreme committee’s assistant secretary general, Nasser Al-Khater.
He added that teams would have far less travelling to do in Qatar and be based in one location for the whole 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 2022 World Cup will kick off on November 21 at the still-to-be-built Lusail Stadium, which will also host the final.
Qatar is at the halfway point to hosting the World Cup as it was controversially awarded the tournament by FIFA on December 2, 2010.
Since then the emirate has faced constant criticism over corruption and human rights concerns, with calls for the World Cup to be played elsewhere.
However, earlier this month, Hassan al-Thawadi, head of the Supreme Committee said the tournament was a “done deal”.
© 2016 AFP