Matches at the Khalifa Stadium could start as early as 1000 GMT

Doha (AFP) - World Cup matches in Qatar could kick-off as early as 1000 GMT if it holds four games a day during the 2022 tournament group stage, organisers confirmed Tuesday.

The other three games would start at 1300, 1600 and 1900 GMT, Nasser al-Khater, assistant secretary general for the World Cup organising body the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, told local broadcaster, Qatar Television.

“There’s a proposition to hold four matches a day, one at 1300, 1600, 1900, and 2200 Doha time. This will be finalised with FIFA,” he said.

“We are currently planning for three matches per day, but also considering four a day as the weather and temperature will be good, and also all stadiums enjoying air conditioning.”

Qatar’s World Cup has an extra time pressure as it will be squeezed into 28 days, rather the usual 32 days, following its switch to November and December 2022 from the traditional months of June and July.

That pressure could increase further, as FIFA is looking into increasing the number of teams in 2022 from 32 to 48.

Khater added that building work at four of the proposed eight stadiums would be completed by the end of next year.

In addition to the already refurbished Khalifa Stadium, Al-Wakrah, Al-Bayt, and Al-Rayyan will all be finished in 2019, he said.

Reporters were allowed to view Al-Bayt on Tuesday, which is 56 kilometres (35 miles) from the capital Doha and will be the most northerly stadium at Qatar’s tournament.

The stadium’s design is based on the traditional Bedouin tent in Qatar, Bayt Al Sha’ar.

“This is a unique design among all the stadiums in the world,” Nasser al-Hajeri, the venue’s project director told AFP.

“It shows people who will attend the World Cup, the type of tent which people used to live in.”