Liverpool are set to play in a brand-new 2022 World Cup venue when they compete in December’s Club World Cup in Qatar.
Football’s world governing body FIFA has announced that the Reds will begin their campaign at the 40,000-capacity Education City Stadium in Doha in a semi-final on December 18.
Win or lose, they will play in the same venue which will host the third-place play-off and the final on December 21.
Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League winners could face local side Al Sadd, coached by former Barcelona midfielder Xavi, Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia or most likely Mexican side Monterrey in the semi-final.
Qatar is using the 2019 and 2020 Club World Cup tournaments as a testing ground for its hosting of the 2022 World Cup finals.
The Gulf state’s hosting of the ongoing World Athletics Championships has been criticised over the poor attendances at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha.
The venue was largely empty on Sunday night as Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith won silver in the women’s 100 metres final.
Sky Sports News reporter Geraint Hughes in Doha…
“Liverpool will be able to report back first-hand to all or any of the home nations who qualify for Qatar 2022. Education City is almost complete. Liverpool’s match there will be its first.
“After the World Cup, its capacity will be reduced to 20,000 seats and become a community-use stadium. Given its name, it lies in Qatar’s educational hub, where a number of universities and research facilities are based. I’m told it’s all the brainchild of the current Emir of Qatar’s mother and the whole area has locally been coined the ‘Jewel in the Desert’.
“If Jurgen Klopp, Jordan Henderson or any other player wanted to visit any other of the Qatar 2022 stadiums while at Education City they don’t have to travel far. No World Cup stadium is more than 55km away from downtown Doha, most are within 20km of each other, and Education City – I’m reliably informed – is about 20 minutes outside Doha’s city limits.
“If Klopp is worried about heat and humidity, then December is the month to play football in Qatar. The average temperature range is 18-25 degrees Celsius with low humidity – a stark contrast to the searing heat and humidity Qatar is sweltering in right now.”