Before now, the majority of discussions surrounding Qatar’s successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup have been surrounding the heat. There’s even been talk of switching the summer tournament to winter months.
However, now that a virtual rendering of the first new purpose-built stadium has been released, the debate is not about whether the fully air conditioned pitch will solve the heat problem.
Rather a number of commentators and tweeters have pointed to the fact that the proposed Al-Wakrah stadium looks very much like a vagina.
Yes, the conservative country has designed what many believe appears to be a giant ode to women’s private parts.
This is not what the architects intended. Instead, the design is supposed to resemble the sails of a dhow boat which is traditionally used for pearl fishing by Qataris.
Aecom, the firm that won the Al Wakrah contract along with Zaha Hadid Architects said: “Inspired by the dhow boat that carried generations of local fishermen and pearl divers, the stadium weaves together Qatar's past with its 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.”
Hassan al-Thawadi, the general secretary of Qatar’s 2022 committee said: “Al-Wakrah is the first of six stadiums already in the latter stages of the design process, our committee has issued 10 major tenders to the market encompassing project and design managers and stadium-operation consultants.”
The stadium, with a capacity of 40,000 people, would be completed by 2018, he said, but declined to comment on the cost.
As well as discussions surrounding the heat, Qatar as also been hit by allegations of migrant construction worker exploitation, as well as accusations of corruption over the voting procedure to win the bid, both of which officials have denied.
You can judge whether the stadium bears a closer resemblance to sails or a vagina’s labia by watching a video of the design here: