Posted on January 27, 2018

A delegation from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) participated in the 2018 European Stadium and Safety Management Association (ESSMA) Summit, held in Dublin, Ireland.

The event, organised by the association in cooperation with the European Professional Football Leagues and the European Club Association, aims to share experiences and views on various issues related to stadium development, sustainability, security and safety of fans, stadium management, and different other issues. This year’s summit attracted speakers from world’s top clubs such as Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Valencia and others. The summit, which was launched in its first edition in 2015, was attended by more than 375 participants from clubs, stadiums, and football associations from around the world.

The SC’s Landscape and Sport Turf Management Senior Manager Yasser Al Mulla, told delegates at the 2018 ESSMA Summit that all eight venues would be completed well in advance of the tournament. “All the stadiums will be completed two years before the tournament starts,” Al Mulla informed attendees at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.Al Mulla said that “Khalifa International Stadium is already completed and was opened by HH the Emir last May. The other seven stadiums are currently being constructed, with two Al Wakrah Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium close to completion.”

Al Mulla also discussed the opportunities offered by the hosting of major events such as the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for the region, saying: “The event is helping to accelerate progress across Qatar. It is also helping to break down social barriers. We know that sport has the power to bring people together and help them understand different cultures.” “Hosting the first World Cup in the Middle East is a huge responsibility and we are determined to make the whole region very proud. “We have developed significant turf development knowledge for Qatar’s conditions,” said Al Mulla. “We have created a state-of-the-art research and development centre one of only two in the world which aims to deliver the perfect pitch for 2022. Our aim is to develop a signature pitch that can be used in winter or summer, in shade or in sunlight.”

Al Mulla revealed that the SC had tested 24 different types of grass during its research and also broken a world record by relaying the pitch at Khalifa International Stadium in just 13.5 hours. “Our trials have provided insightful data on grass resilience for different weather conditions and soil types. We will soon reveal the signature design grass species to be used during the tournament,” he added.