Qatar has begun construction work at the site where the 2022 World Cup final will be played, tournament officials said on Wednesday.

Preparatory work, including the stationing of site offices and five kilometres of hoarding, have gone up at the site in Lusail, north of the capital, Doha.

As well as the final, the opening game of the 2022 tournament will also be staged at the 80,000-seater Lusail Stadium.

Mubarak Al-Khulaifi, the stadium’s project director, said in a statement that organisers were “very pleased to have initiated a presence on the site, which has a special significance for us all”.

Lusail is the sixth venue currently under construction for the World Cup, the first to be played in the Middle East.

The stadium is being designed by British architects Foster and Partners.

Earlier this month, Qatar announced it will complete work on the first tournament venue to be used in the competition by 2016.

Up to 12 stadiums will be used for the World Cup in 2022, which for the first time in its history will be played during the months of November and December.

A final decision on the number of venues will be made by the end of this year.

Work for the finals in seven years’ time has progressed despite an ongoing Swiss investigation examining in part how the tiny Gulf state was awarded the tournament.

This was launched in the fallout over corruption allegations engulfing football’s governing body, FIFA.

Qatar has come under widespread criticism for its labour record since being awarded football’s biggest tournament.

However, officials for the body overseeing the Qatar World Cup, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said construction work at Lusail would comply with international welfare standards. – Agence France-Presse

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