“The stadium is extraordinary,” Infantino said.“I was here seven months ago during the final stages of construction.“I am delighted to see how beautiful and functional it is, but I am not surprised.“Qatar is working very hard to excel when it comes to every aspect of the tournament.“Today, we have seen even more proof of their capability and commitment, and we will keep working side by side towards all other milestones that will come our way until 2022.”With three and a half years to go before the next FIFA World Cup, Qatar has delivered two of the eight stadiums proposed to host the tournament.While Khalifa International Stadium was built in the 1970s and reopened after renovation in 2017, Al Janoub Stadium is the first venue to be completed from scratch.It was designed by late British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.“This venue will wow football fans flocking to Qatar in 2022 and the fact such an astonishing project has been designed by an Arab woman makes it unique,” Samoura said.“Besides offering a beautiful and modern stage for footballers to shine, Al Janoub will also inspire girls across the region to dream big, work hard and achieve great things.”Al Janoub Stadium is set to stage matches up to and including the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.In legacy mode, it will be reduced to a 20,000-seater venue and become the home of local football team Al-Wakrah Sports Club.An innovative cooling system and retractable roof will enable the stadium to be used all year round.“The stadiums are the beating heart of any World Cup,” France’s Youri Djorkaeff, a 1998 FIFA World Cup winner who attended the opening match together with several other football icons, said.“It truly makes a difference to play football in an inspiring venue and I am sure Al Janoub Stadium will be one of those unforgettable ones.“Years from now, I can see players thinking back to the matches that were held here and cherishing the memories of having played in such a stunning arena.”The match between Al-Duhail and Al Sadd also took on added significance as 2010 FIFA World Cup winner Xavi Hernández, the Spaniard who has played for Al Sadd since 2015, recently announced that he would retire at the end of the season.“Xavi is among the greatest midfielders I have seen,” Infantino added.“His achievements with Barcelona and Spain place him in a very select group of absolutely legendary players.“Over the past few years here in Doha, his leadership has become even more evident as he has supported the younger players and even predicted that Qatar would win the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup when few believed that was possible.“We couldn’t be happier with having him in the next FIFA World Cup host country, inspiring people and contributing towards Qatar’s goal to succeed both on and off the pitch.”The size of Qatar 2022 is set to be expanded from 32 teams to 48 after the FIFA Council agreed the idea was “feasible” at a meeting in Miami in March.Having analysed a feasibility study, the Council agreed broadening the event could work, so long as countries other than Qatar, the current sole hosts, agree to help.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram FIFA President Gianni Infantino has described as “extraordinary” the second proposed Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup venue to open its doors.Infantino attended the opening of the 40,000-seater Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah City, together with FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.In the presence of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, a crowd of 38,678 spectators witnessed the venue’s inauguration ceremony, which was followed by the crowning of Al-Duhail as the winners of this year’s Amir’s Cup after a 4-1 victory over Al Sadd in the final.
How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Jansen made 11 appearances in September, holding opposing batters to a .171 average with 12 strikeouts and four walks — and no home runs. He converted six of seven save opportunities.It’s a performance that has restored some of the confidence Jansen’s career-high eight blown saves had eroded over the course of the season.“The confidence is there for me when the mindset is right,” Roberts said. “I don’t want to say he was disinterested and there are things outside that bleed into his head and thought process. But we’ve talked numerous times. It should have no bearing on him going out there. This is a time when there are no excuses. It’s going out there and leaving it all out there. That’s what I expect from him. His teammates do. So I’ve seen that. When I see that, I’m certain that good things are going to happen for him and for us.”Roberts clarified his “disinterested” critique.“I’ve never taken the ball in the ninth inning and accrued 300 saves. But they’re not all created equal as far as intensity, magnitude,” he said. “But from here on out every time he takes the baseball it’s going to be important.“It’s hard to keep that focus every time you take the ball. That’s what we want and it’s idealic. It doesn’t always happen that way. But that’s the challenge for Kenley and I expect that.” “Obviously I did lead the league in ERA. But if you look at all the other metrics, he had an incredible season, especially the innings and strikeouts. I think those two are really important factors.”Roberts made the case for his pitcher, pointing to a tougher slate of opponents for Ryu (he made seven starts against playoff teams) than deGrom (who made 12 starts against playoff teams — but also faced the Marlins six times).“I just think he’s had a tremendous year, given who he’s had to face compared to some of the people he’s contending with for that thing,” Roberts said. “Obviously it’s a biased perspective.”Ryu’s case was hurt by a late-season slump, a four-start stretch in late August and early September during which he gave up 21 runs in 19 innings. Two of his final three starts, however, were scoreless — both on the road, both with Russell Martin as his catcher. In 130 2/3 innings with Martin behind the plate, Ryu had a 1.52 ERA.“That’s pretty good,” Martin said of the statistic. “I guess I’m the lucky one who catches him on good days. I think I have a good understanding of what he likes to do. We just work well together.”Ryu drove in one run himself with a two-out single Saturday and Max Muncy homered for the other run.Kenta Maeda handled the eighth inning and handed the lead over to Jansen for the ninth. Jansen extended the suspense, hitting the first batter he faced then giving up a single to Kevin Pillar. With the tying runs on base, he struck out the side for the save.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “I’m very proud of that for this entire organization,” Roberts said of the achievement. “You don’t just show up and win 105 games against good teams all year long. So it’s a credit to everybody. The continued focus to get better each day — it’s a really fun and talented group. But the consistency of what we’ve done this year speaks to a lot of those players.”Of those players, Ryu and MVP candidate Cody Bellinger made crucial steps forward to elite status this season.Ryu allowed five hits, walked none and struck out seven Saturday, lowering his MLB-best ERA to 2.32. It was the 10th time in 29 starts this season he did not allow a run, the 18th time he allowed one earned run or none (going at least six innings in all of them). By comparison, deGrom finished his season with a 2.41 ERA, eight scoreless starts (including his last three) and 17 in which he allowed one or no earned runs.Ryu called the possibility of winning a Cy Young award “unbelievable” and “very surprising,” calling 2019 a successful year whether he wins the award or not. Then he threw his support behind deGrom.“It’s a very tough question, obviously. There were so many good pitchers this season,” Ryu said through his interpreter. “I honestly think Jacob deGrom deserves it. SAN FRANCISCO — As closing arguments go, Hyun-Jin Ryu and (maybe) Kenley Jansen were pretty persuasive.The frontrunner for the National League Cy Young Award for much of the season, Ryu’s standing slipped over the past month or so. Reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom has roared to the front — a product of “East Coast bias,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts intimated before the game Saturday — with Jack Flaherty, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Sonny Gray and Mike Soroka all closing the gap as well.In his final chance to sway voters (two BBWAA members in each National League city), Ryu showed the dominant form that made him the frontrunner. He held the San Francisco Giants scoreless for seven innings, combining with the bullpen on a shutout as the Dodgers won their 105th game of the season, 2-0, Saturday afternoon.The 105 wins are the most in Los Angeles history and match the franchise record set by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1953. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start