Amid strict health and safety protocols, Al Rayyan stadium will reach approximately 50% capacity when it hosts this year's Amir Cup final between Al Sadd and Al Arabi on December 18 – Qatar National Day.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tickets for the final are being limited to one per person and will be linked to the holder’s Qatar ID. Tickets are non-transferable and fans will be required to adhere to strict social distancing rules, including wearing a face mask, showing their Ehteraz app on arrival and sitting only in a designated seat.
Al Rayyan venue will become the fourth FIFA World Cup stadium to open in Qatar following Khalifa International, Al Janoub and Education City. The inauguration and final will take place on December 18 – Qatar National Day – exactly two years before the country hosts the FIFA World Cup final. The match will kick off at 7pm.
Following discussions between the Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), any fan who attends the match must return either a positive Covid-19 antibodies test or a negative Covid-19 test prior to being allowed access to the stadium.
Social distancing measures will be implemented within the vicinity of the stadium, including the fan zone and on public transport. The fan zone will open from 4-6pm and again at 9pm, after the match has finished. Fans will be encouraged to remain at the fan zone or spend time in the Mall of Qatar in order to ensure social distancing requirements are adhered to on Doha Metro.
Priority access to tickets was granted to fans of both Al Sadd and Al Arabi – the two clubs who will contest the final. In addition, frontline healthcare workers who helped Qatar battle the Covid-19 pandemic have also been given priority access to purchase tickets. For further information about tickets visit tickets.qfa.qa.
Speaking during a press conference on Monday, Khalid al-Kuwari, Director of Marketing & Communications, QFA, congratulated Al Sadd and Al Arabi on reaching the final before adding: “We are looking forward to a great atmosphere at Al Rayyan stadium on 18 December. Our priority is to ensure everyone’s safety, in line with the measures implemented by the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management. We have adopted a new ticketing process, which includes testing everyone for Covid-19 before they are allowed to enter the stadium. A good number of people have already claimed their tickets and we are looking forward to a great occasion on Qatar National Day.”
Dr Abdul Wahab al-Musleh, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Information Systems, Hamad Medical Corporation, said: “This is the first time Qatar has hosted a match on this scale under such exceptional circumstances. The Amir Cup Local Organising Committee, under direction from the MOPH, developed a clear strategy in order to accommodate spectators and ensure the safe return of top-level sport in our country.”
Dr al-Musleh added: “Being able to accommodate spectators at the final is a great success and was not possible until the phase four lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in the country. We have decided to test everyone prior to the final – including players, organisers and spectators. Anyone who enters the stadium must return either a negative Covid-19 test or a positive Covid-19 antibodies test. About 50% of the available seats will be allocated to people who have previously contracted the virus.”
Dr al-Musleh encouraged fans to get tested as soon as possible and adhere to all the necessary social distancing rules within the vicinity of the stadium.
Khalid al-Naama, Digital Media Manager at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and Deputy Communications Director, Amir Cup Local Organising Committee, said: “We are thrilled to be launching our fourth Qatar 2022 venue by hosting the Amir Cup final – as we did previously for the inaugurations of Khalifa International in 2017 and Al Janoub in 2019. Like other Qatar 2022 stadiums, Al Rayyan Venue has distinct legacy features – including becoming the future home of Al Rayyan Sports Club. Yet again, this match is an opportunity to test readiness ahead of the World Cup by welcoming the fans of two major local clubs.”
The Al Rayyan stadium, which was built on the site of Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, is adjacent to the Mall of Qatar and within walking distance of Al Riffa Station – on Doha Metro’s Green Line. The stadium’s most striking feature is a glowing facade, comprised of patterns that characterise different aspects of Qatar: the importance of family, the beauty of the desert, native flora and fauna, and local and international trade. A fifth shape – a shield – brings together all the others, representing the strength and unity that is particularly relevant to the city of Al Rayyan.
Earlier this year, it was announced the stadium would host seven matches during Qatar 2022 up to and including the round of 16 stage.