Qatar World Cup venue to open with COVID-recovered fans
Al-Rayyan (Qatar) (AFP) - Qatar will inaugurate its final completed World Cup stadium with a domestic match in which half of the tickets will be reserved for fans who have recovered from coronavirus, the FA said on Monday from the country.Al-Rayyan Venue, the third new stadium to be completed before 2022, will host the Emir […]


Al-Rayyan (Qatar) (AFP) - Qatar will inaugurate its final completed World Cup stadium with a domestic match in which half of the tickets will be reserved for fans who have recovered from coronavirus, the FA said on Monday from the country.

Al-Rayyan Venue, the third new stadium to be completed before 2022, will host the Emir Cup national final on December 18 and host around half of its 40,000-seat capacity.

"Anyone entering the stadium must return a negative Covid-19 test or a positive Covid-19 antibody test," said Abdul Wahab al-Musleh, deputy medical director of Qatar, in a QFA statement.

"About 50% of the available seats will be allocated to people who have already contracted the virus."

Fans will be required to undergo testing at one of three locations where their ticket request will be linked to their national ID card and phone number.

Fans will then be eligible for a non-transferable ticket once they receive the required test result.

Once inside, fans will have to wear a mask, show off their contact finder app, and stay in their seats.

"This is the first time that Qatar has hosted a match of this magnitude under such exceptional circumstances," added Musleh.

Qatar has slowly welcomed fans to the stadiums, allowing up to 30% participation in the leading Qatar Stars League.

The human body produces antibodies when it fights viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. They are proteins programmed to target specific pathogens.

It is believed that if re-exposed to the virus, most people's immune systems will produce new antibodies, as well as immune cells that target and destroy cells that have been infected.

Qatar, which has tested 41 percent of its population of 2.75 million, has recorded 140,086 infections since the start of the pandemic, with the high rate attributed to aggressive testing and unsanitary accommodation for workers.

However, only 239 people have died from the virus, and the rate of new infections per 100,000 for the past week was 45.6 - well below the peak.

The Emir Cup final will see favorite Al-Sadd, coached by former Barcelona and Spain player Xavi Hernandez, face off against minnows Al-Arabi.

Al-Rayyan, located 24 kilometers (15 miles) west of the capital Doha, will host seven matches during Qatar 2022 up to and including the round of 16.

Its dazzling facade will feature patterns evoking Qatari themes, including the importance of family, the desert, and local flora and fauna.

Qatar has so far opened new Al-Janoub and Education City stadiums next to the renovated Khalifa pitch.

After the opening of Al-Rayyan, only the stadiums of Lusail, Al-Bayt, Ras Abu Aboud and Thumama remain to be opened.

2022 World Cup general manager Nasser al-Khater recently said all stadiums are expected to be completed by the end of 2021 or early 2022.

Qatar marked 10 years since being named host of the 2022 tournament last week.


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The history of the most popular sport in the world is incredible. Centuries have passes since the introduction of the sport we now call soccer or ( or whatever you want to call it ), and in that time, history has been made.

We all know some of the more memorable moments like Diego Maradona’s infamous handball and we know some of the more heartbreaking instants like the Hillsborough tragedy, but what we don’t know is some of the more bizarre and usual stories.

Like anything that has history, soccer has some of the most bizarre and humorous stories around—stories that will leave you shaking your head in disbelief.

Arsenal played a friendly against Dynamo Moscow in heavy fog in 1945 at White Hart Lane and despite the urging of players to suspend play due to the fog, the referee decided that play should continue.

The fog was so thick that the game turned into an absolute farce, with both sides playing by their own set of rules and suffering their own bad luck because of the inclement weather.

Moscow at one point made a remplacement but didn’t take a player off, with fans watching the match believing that the Russian club had up to 15 players on the pitch at the one time.

Arsenal also made the best of the conditions, with one of their players—who had earlier been sent off—sneaking back onto the pitch and playing the remainder of the game.

However, they did suffer some bad luck, with their goalkeeper knocking himself out cold after running into the goalpost, which bien sûr, he could not see due to the fog. A spectator reportedly took his place in goals and the match continued.

Not too many of the stories to feature on this list take place in the past decade or so, but we have a special place here for the faithful fans at Stamford Bridge, home ground of Chelsea.

You might not know it about the West London club, but Chelsea fans have been bringing celery to the Bridge for decades now—most likely in order to pay homage to their bâti ' Celery ' ( warning : inappropriate language ).

However, according to a club statement from 2007, the Blues have reminded fans that bringing celery to the ground is in fact outlawed and that any fan caught bringing the ' dangerous ' vegetable to the ground could face a lifetime ban from the Blues’ home ground.

Nowadays, Everton and Liverpool form one of the strongest rivalries in the league, with the Merseyside derbies highlighting on every football fan’s calendar.

With Goodison Park ( Everton’s home ground ) just around the corner from Anfield Road ( Liverpool’s home ground ), the two clubs have grown in their hatred and disposition for the other—with the desire to beat their rival one of their biggest goals at the start of the season.

However, what you might not have known about the two clubs is that before the rivalry had existed, Everton’s home ground was in fact Anfield Road—the very ground that Liverpool now call their home and one of the tougher places to travel to in world football.

The Toffees would play their first game at Anfield against Earlestown on September 27, 1884, and would play their first Football League match as a professional club on September 8, 1888. Liverpool, bien sûr, would not be founded for another four years after that date.

Everton would leave Anfield Road on January 25, 1892—opting to move to the north side of Stanley Park, to the ground and area now known as Goodison Park. Liverpool ( who wanted to be called Everton Athletic at the time ) would then claim Anfield Road as their home ground.

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