The World Cup stadium certainly has a unique look.
The World Cup stadium certainly has a unique look.

Football’s ‘vagina stadium’ unveiled

A FOOTBALL ground in Qatar dubbed the "Vagina stadium" has finally been unveiled ahead of the 2022 World Cup.

Fans HAVE ridiculed the Al Wakrah stadium, which will host matches up to the quarter-finals and contains innovative cooling technology, The Sun reports.

It was designed by the late British-Iraqi architect Dame Zaha Hadid, who reacted furiously when supporters suggested it looked like a lady's private parts.

Back in 2013, she fumed: "It's really embarrassing they come up with nonsense stuff like this. What are they saying? Everything with a hole in it is a vagina? That's ridiculous."

Dame Hadid's plans were first released in 2013 and were said to have been inspired by the flowing shape of a dhow boat, a traditional Arabian pearl diving and fishing vessel. The drawings were topped with a structure resembling the sails of a dhow.

Iraqi-born Hadid - whose other works included the Aquatics Centre at the 2012 London Olympics, the MAXXI Museum in Italy and the Guangzhou Opera House in China, previously said of the stadium's criticism: "If a guy had done this project there wouldn't have been the same level of criticism."

As well as the shape of the stadium, which is located 20km south of the capital Doha, being designed to keep out the desert heat, Al Wakrah will also use a revolutionary new air-conditioning technology to bring temperatures down to about 22C for fans and players.

This is done by piping cold air through 100 ventilation units into the stadium, which has a 92m retractable roof to provide shade to the pitch.

The tournament has already been moved to the winter months to avoid the searing summer temperatures in the Gulf.

In its promotional material, Aecom, the firm that won the Al-Wakrah contract with Zaha Hadid Architects, said of the designs: "Inspired by the dhow boat that carried generations of local fishermen and pearl divers, the stadium weaves together Qatar's past with it progressive vision for the future.

"Sustainable materials and practices will be used throughout the stadium and the pitch and spectator stands will be cooled to a perfect temperature for football."

Qatar is producing eight stadiums for a 32-team World Cup, although FIFA boss Gianni Infantino has said he would like to expand the tournament to 48 teams, which would involve Doha co-hosting with an Arab neighbour.

He has admitted the chance of this is small because of a Saudi-led blockade of Qatar, but "worth trying".

The Khalifa International Stadium, which was built in 1976, has already been unveiled for the tournament following redevelopment.

This article first appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission