International journalists have started to arrive at the main Media Centre for the FIFA World Cup in Doha ©Getty Images

International Sports Journalists Association (AIPS) President Gianni Merlo has described facilities at the Media Centre for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar as “the best ever, the most elegant ever and the most effective,” but warned against problems with traffic congestion during the tournament.

"Everything looks ready for us but we will know exactly if everything will work only when all our colleagues arrive," Merlo said after arriving at the venue in Doha. 

Some 12,300 media personnel are expected to cover the tournament which is due to open on Sunday (November 20) and conclude with the final on December 18, and many are likely to focus on human rights in the host nation.

"We have to await the arrival of our colleagues and we have to see also how we will work with the traffic and everything else," Merlo added.

The Media Centre can be reached by the Doha Metro, a rapid transit system in the Qatari capital which opened in 2019.

"This will help a lot to avoid the traffic," Merlo said.

As the journalists arrive for the tournament, Merlo has produced a video tour of the complex which houses writers, photographers and the International Broadcast Centre.

Qatar 2022 organisers have meanwhile that claimed that the media centre will offer "centralised, state-of-the-art infrastructure and services".

The huge building includes a spiral escalator to take visitors to the upper levels which house the FIFA offices and media workroom.

"This is one of the most strange things that we have never seen in a press centre, it is very special,"  Merlo said of the staircase.

The centre also includes sandwich bars and a restaurant offering a full meal for  €15 (£13/$15.50)

The main thoroughfare of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Media Centre in Doha is dominated by a striking sculpture ©Getty Images
The main thoroughfare of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Media Centre in Doha is dominated by a striking sculpture ©Getty Images

The Media Centre may well prove the last of its kind because the 2026 World Cup is to be spread across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

"This is perhaps the last time we will have to work all together in one place because in the future the situation will change completely," Merlo admitted.

"In the next World Cup, it will be impossible to create an infrastructure as this, so I think that this is the last time for a big farewell for the old system of working,"

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is set to begin when host nation Qatar face Ecuador in the opening match of Group A at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.