DOHA: Rock samples up to 30 million-years-old have been unearthed under one of the Qatar 2022 World Cup stadiums, organisers said on Wednesday.
The “Dukhan rock” was found during construction of the 40,000-capacity Qatar Foundation stadium, which is set to host matches up to the quarter-final stage in six years’ time.
Organisers have called it an “extraordinary find”.
“As we dug down deeper on site, we came across interesting and distinct colour bandings on the rock formations,” said Eid Al-Qahtani, a project manager with the committee overseeing the 2022 competition.
Samples were then taken of the rock, which dated it back to approximately up to 30 million years ago.
“We discovered that the rocks in question originated under water, forming a layer known as the middle-Eocene epoch. This is an extraordinary find,” he added.
Excavation at the site reached 17 metres (55 feet) in depth.
Dukhan is a city in the west of Qatar.
Some eight stadiums will be used for the competition in Qatar, including the Qatar Foundation stadium, which is seven kilometres west of the capital, Doha.
Qatar’s bid has been beset by controversy, with allegations that living and working conditions for World Cup labourers are appalling leading to a number of deaths, a charge denied by organisers.
In addition, an investigation is continuing in Switzerland about how the Gulf country was selected as the host for the 2022 tournament, following corruption allegations against Doha.