By: Rajini KG
December 14 2022
Older images of the stadium under construction are being circulated. The dismantling of Stadium 974 may begin after the World Cup final.
Qatar's Stadium 974 is one of the many locations where matches were held during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The stadium is named for the number of shipping containers used in its construction and Qatar's international dialing code. In an effort to fulfill its promise to host the first carbon-neutral World Cup, Qatar referred to the stadium as its "beacon of sustainability." Stadium 974, located in Qatar's capital of Doha, hosted seven matches in the ongoing football World Cup.
After the football match between South Korea and Brazil concluded at Stadium 974 in Doha on December 5, 2022, misinformation started circulating on social media regarding the location. Facebook account 'Football Home & Away' published one such post. The post uploaded three images of Stadium 974 and claimed, "The 974 Stadium in Doha is almost completely dismantled after hosting the match between Brazil and South Korea on Monday." However, this is false because the images claiming to show the stadium being dismantled were actually taken in 2020 during its construction. Further, the stadium has not been dismantled yet and is scheduled to host a fashion show on December 16, 2022.
We conducted a reverse image search on the images in the viral posts and found that they date back to 2020.
One image was found in an article published by Qatar Tribune on October 17, 2020, titled "Meet a pioneer in stadium development and mega-events: Ras Abu Aboud Stadium." Stadium 974 is also known as Ras Abu Aboud Stadium. The article talked about the construction of the stadium and its innovative design. Another image was found in the gallery section of The Institution of Structural Engineers' website. It was captioned "Exterior view of the construction of Stadium 974." The same images were also found on the Qatarday.com Facebook handle on September 13, 2020. Further, we found the third image in the post showing the stadium on Getty Images, taken and uploaded on June 21, 2022. The caption stated that the photo showed an aerial view of the stadium at sunset.
A keyword search led us to a report by Fox Sports, which reported that rumors of Stadium 974 being dismantled are false. According to the report, "The Qatar Fashion United by CR Runway" will be held in the 974 Stadium on Friday, December 16. Musicians like Post Malone and DJ Snake are performing at this event, and several soccer stars are also expected to attend. The dismantling procedure could commence after December 18, when the World Cup final will be held, a process which may take up to a year.
Qatar's Doha News also tweeted on December 12, writing, "Qatar's biggest fashion show is coming to you! 150 designers and brands will take part in the world's biggest catwalk at Stadium 974, the final event to take place at the astonishing venue!" We found that DJ Snake, one of the performers at the fashion show, retweeted the Doha News tweet the same day.
Further, Omar Villarreal, a journalist at Azteca Deportes (Mexico's Television), also dismissed the reports of Stadium 974 dismantling reports on his Twitter handle. His tweet (translated from Spanish) says that reports of the dismantling of Stadium 974, where Mexico debuted in Qatar, are fake.
BBC, quoting the Qatar 2022 organizing committee spokesperson, reports that the "precise timeline for the full dismantling and repurposing" is not yet finalized. Therefore, it confirms that the actual process of dismantling the stadium has not yet begun.
Stadium 974 will no longer be part of the 2022 FIFA World Cup but will still be used for other commercial events, such as a fashion show on December 16. The stadium has not been dismantled yet and will be around till at least December 18, when the World Cup final is to be held. Therefore, we are marking this claim as false.